Devontae Shuler and KJ Buffen had 20 points apiece as Mississippi pulled away in the second half to beat visiting Tennessee Tech 80-63 on Sunday afternoon in Oxford, Miss.
It was the fourth straight win for the Rebels (9-3), who improved to 10-1 in December games under second-year coach Kermit Davis. The lone loss was at home to then-unbeaten Baylor on Dec. 3.
Shuler, a junior guard, was 8 of 12 from the field and added five rebounds and five assists. Buffen, a sophomore forward, made 6 of 12 shots and 7 of 8 free throw attempts to go with eight rebounds.
That duo helped offset a down afternoon for senior guard Breein Tyree, Ole Miss’ leading scorer who had nine points and made only 1 of 6 3-pointers.
Tennessee Tech, which hasn’t beaten a power-conference team since winning at Oregon State in 2007, was led by senior guard Darius Allen and sophomore guard Jr. Clay, both of whom had 13 points.
Tennessee Tech (3-10) led 32-31 at halftime but went the final 2:53 of the first half without scoring, allowing Ole Miss to cut into a five-point edge. The Rebels got hot from the perimeter in the second half, making four of their first six attempts from behind the arc after going 1 for 12 in the first half.
The hot second-half shooting helped open the interior for the Rebels. A layup by Shuler with 12:28 to go gave Ole Miss a 52-41 lead, then a 13-0 run produced entirely from baskets within the paint upped the margin to 67-47 after a basket by senior forward Khadim Sy with 6:38 left.
Ole Miss made 23 of 32 two-pointers in shooting 54.5 percent overall, including 69.2 percent in the second half.
—Field Level Media