|Game stats||Ole Miss||Vanderbilt|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Breein Tyree scored a career-high 31 points, and Mississippi opened Southeastern Conference play by beating Vanderbilt 81-71 Saturday night for the Rebels’ eighth straight victory.
Ole Miss now has won four straight in Memorial Gym and seven of the last nine between these teams. First-year coach Kermit Davis picked up where he left off winning his fourth consecutive in a streak he started at Middle Tennessee. The Rebels led 35-32 at halftime and simply outshot Vanderbilt in the second. They hit 57.7 percent (15 of 26) in the second half.
Vanderbilt (9-4) snapped a two-game winning streak after finishing its nonconference slate winning four of the last five.
In a tight game with 10 ties and 13 lead changes, Vanderbilt had its biggest lead at 53-47 on a 3-point play by Shittu with 14:23 left.
Then the Rebels took over with a 20-7 run. Davis hit a 3 and then stole the ball to set up Shuler for a fast-break layup and a 65-60 lead that matched their largest of the game to that point. Tyree added a pair of free throws for the Rebels’ biggest lead to finish the run.
Ole Miss then put away the game as Davis hit a 3 and Shuler added a layup with 4:01 left for a 79-63 lead.
Vanderbilt didn’t hit a bucket after Aaron Nesmith‘s 3 with 3:46 left as the Commodores finished the game hitting only one of their final seven shots.
Ole Miss: The Rebels came in as the SEC’s second-best shooting team, hitting 50.7 percent from the floor. They started a little cold in the first half, hitting just 41.9 percent (13 of 31). They nearly made up for that in the second half, and they also had a 36-35 rebounding edge.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores outscored Ole Miss 36-28 in the paint but couldn’t make the Rebels pay for fouling them enough. They finished with a season-low 58.6 percent shooting at the line (17 of 29).
Ole Miss: Hosts Auburn on Wednesday night.
Vanderbilt: Visits Georgia on Wednesday night.