Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Kent Lowe
OXFORD, Mississippi – The Ole Miss Rebels shot 55 percent, including 62 percent in the final 20 minutes to score an 82-69 win over the LSU Tigers Saturday night at the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss. The Rebels were 18-of-29 in the second half and finished 32-of-58 for the game as Ole Miss kept LSU from cutting into a 35-26 deficit at the half by outscoring LSU, 47-43.
The win wiped out a 29-point effort by fifth year senior KJ Williams. Williams hit 10-of-18 field goals with two treys and 7-of-8 at the line to follow up his 35-point effort against Vanderbilt on Wednesday.
LSU led for much of the first 15 minutes of the game, building as much as a seven-point advantage at 15-8 with 9:38 to go in the half. But Ole Miss began to assert itself at that point and after Trae Hannibal made two free throws to tie the game at 19-19, Ole Miss outscored LSU, 16-7 including a 10-0 run to take the 35-26 halftime advantage that would have been larger had Williams not hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The second half went completely toward the offensive end as both teams shot 50 percent in the final 20 minutes for the second straight game.
LSU scored the first five points of the half on two Williams free throws and a Miller three to make the Rebel lead just 35-31. LSU had a chance to get even closer on an Ole Miss turnover, but Tyrell Ward missed a three-pointer and Ole Miss scored back-to-back buckets to increase the lead back to eight, 39-31, and LSU could get no closer than the four at the start of the half.
“Number one, credit to Ole Miss. They had had a lot go on here in the last 48 hours and I thought they came out really inspired and played together with great energy,” said LSU Coach Matt McMahon. “They just really manhandled us on the perimeter. Bumped us off every cut, really physical. Then, as you saw there, especially in the second half, unable to guard them. Just got beat time and time again off the dribble.
“In the first half, you get off to the great start, 15-8, obviously they were trying to double KJ (Williams), they were trying to take him away in the post. We got some good looks on those doubles, we were unable to knock them down and then we also took a couple of just horrific shots off the dribble that really hurt us in that stretch. Then to close it out there, every time we got it down to six or seven, we just couldn’t get a stop. They scored on almost every possession in the second half.”
“Really unfortunate, I thought we made some progress there. We had some untimely turnover and those 13 turnovers, the turnover battle pretty similar, but they (Ole Miss) convert theirs into 16 points. We only turned our forced turnovers into four. That ended up being a big difference in the game as well.”
Besides the 29 from Williams, Adam Miller had 15 points and five assists on the night. Cam Hayes also had five assists. LSU shot 15-of-30 in the first half and made 5-of-14 from the arc in the second half after opening the game 2-of-13 from distance. LSU finished 24-of-54 for 44.4 percent and 7-of-27 from the arc. LSU was 14-of-15 from the free throw line.
For the first time in several games, the Tigers also gave up points on turnovers to the advantage of 16-4 in favor of Ole Miss. LSU turned the ball over 13 times but against Ole Miss’ 10 turnovers the Tigers could only get four points.
“Really unfortunate, I thought we made some progress there. We had some untimely turnovers and those 13 turnovers, the turnover battle pretty similar, but they (Ole Miss) convert theirs into 16 points. We only turned our forced turnovers into four. That ended up being a big difference in the game as well,” said Coach McMahon
Ole Miss was led by Jaemyn Brakefield who owned the paint for the Rebels, scoring 23 points with 10 rebounds, making 8-of-10 field goals and going 7-of-7 at the line. Amaree Abram had 14 points, Myles Burns 12 and Matthew Murrell 11. Ole Miss’ final shooting percentage was 55.2 percent and the Rebels were 9-of-21 from three for 42.9 percent.
The Rebels posted a 42-24 advantage in points in the paint and tied LSU with 28 rebounds.
The Tigers will play their final home game of the season on Wednesday night against Missouri. Senior night tributes will begin at 7:45 p.m. and the game will tip just after 8 p.m. CT. Tickets are available at LSUTix.net.
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