Rebels head into SEC play with a rout

Published 10:27 pm Friday, December 22, 2017

OXFORD (AP) — Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy and guard Terence Davis managed to agree on one thing Friday: The Rebels are excited to reach the Southeastern Conference portion of the schedule on a high note after defeating Bradley 82-59.

Davis scored 25 points and was 9-of-14 from the field as Ole Miss (7-5) raced to a 40-22 halftime lead. The Rebels led by as many as 30 points, 67-37 midway through the second half. Markel Crawford and Bruce Stevens added 16 and 11 points, respectively.

The Rebels have won two in a row after losing four of their previous five games. They’re off until New Year’s Eve, when they host South Carolina in the SEC opener.

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“I know our mindset is right where it needs to be going into the (Southeastern) conference,” Davis said. “We’ve been looking forward to these games.”

Bradley (10-3) was led by Darrell Brown with 16 points and five assists.

The Braves struggled from the field, hitting 20 of 61 (35 percent) shots overall and 8 of 23 (33 percent) from 3-point range.

Ole Miss was 29-of-63 (46 percent) from the field, including 12-of-27 (44 percent) from 3-point range. The Rebels forced Bradley into 22 turnovers and got a game-high eight rebounds from Justas Furmanavicius.

After hitting 14 shots from 3-point range in the previous game, the Rebels followed up by hitting 8 of 14 early on Bradley, including 5 of 7 from Davis. The Ole Miss bench outscored Bradley 41-19 and outscored the Braves in the paint, 32-12.

“They’re excited,” said Kennedy, whose club lost three overtime home games earlier in the month. “What I hope we’ve learned is there is a thin line between winning and misery. It’s a play here, a play there. It’s important to get a win like this one.”

Bradley entered as one of four schools nationally to make 40 percent of its 3-point shots and was holding opponents to under 30 percent. At halftime, the Braves trailed by 20 points, were 1-of-8 from 3-point range and had surrendered 8 of 16 3-point attempts to the Rebels.

Aside from Brown, the Braves finished the first half 2-of-18 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range.

Despite the loss, the Braves finished the non-conference season with 10 wins for the first time 2006-07 and their 10-3 start matches the team’s best since 1987-88.

Vanderbilt 92, Alcorn State 51

Jeff Roberson scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Vanderbilt won its final tune-up before Southeastern Conference play with a rout of Alcorn State.

Roberson became the third current Vanderbilt senior to surpass 1,000 career points, joining Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis. The F-Troop of Butch Feher, Joe Ford and Jeff Fosnes (1976) is the only other Commodore class to accomplish that feat.

Roberson became the 48th Commodore to reach the milestone on a layup with 2:58 left in the first half.

A.J. Mosby led Alcorn State (4-9) with 11 points and Troymain Crosby added 10, but the Braves fell to 0-8 on the road.

Vanderbilt (5-7) set a season high for 3-pointers for the second straight game by going 17-for-35 from beyond the arc. The Commodores finished two short of tying the school record of 19 3-pointers set in a win over High Point last season.

Ball State 70, Jackson State 54

Kyle Mallers had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Francis Kiapway and Sean Sellers added 11 points apiece as Ball State beat Jackson State.

Paris Collins led Jackson State with 17 points, and Darius Austin scored 11.

Ball State outrebounded the Tigers 30-18. Jackson State only shot four free throws in the game and was 21-for-58 (36.2 percent) from the field.