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College basketball: Ole Miss, Southern Miss win Saturday matinees

JACKSON (AP) — Ole Miss basektball coach Kermit Davis was looking for a spark.

Khadim Sy provided one.

Sy scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting as Ole Miss held off Southeastern Louisiana 83-76 at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on Saturday afternoon.

“He’s been getting better and better and today he was finishing around the rim,” Davis said. “We needed every basket he made and he needs to keep making that progress.”

Sy also grabbed seven rebounds, had one blocked shot and was 5-for-5 from the free throw line. His dunk with 50 seconds left put Ole Miss up 80-72 to seal it.

“Coach has been telling me to pick it up and I had to today,” Sy said. “This was one of our worst games defensively, so we had to step up on offense and execute to win.”

Southeastern Louisiana led 34-30 with just under four minutes left in the first half, but Ole Miss ended the half on a 12-6 run to take a 42-41 lead at halftime. Ole Miss opened the second half on a 13-7 run through the first eight minutes, extending the lead to 55-48.

Blake Hinson added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc, for Ole Miss (8-3). Point guard Devontae Shuler chipped in 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He also had six assists, four rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals. Breein Tyree had 14 points for Ole Miss.

The Rebels have won three straight after losing three of four to end November.

Tyron Brewer had a game-high 30 points on 13-of-17 shooting and also had six rebounds for Southeastern Louisiana. He had 17 points in the first half.

“He is a Mississippi kid and had something to prove and he kicked our tail every way possible today,” Davis said. “He hadn’t shot the ball like that all year, but give that team a lot of credit. They’ve been in close games and will win a lot of games in their conference.”

LaQuan Butler added 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting for the Lions (3-8), who shot 58 percent (32-of-55) for the game.

Ole Miss is now 19-0 all-time against Southeastern Louisiana.

“At times I didn’t know what team I was coaching. Couldn’t get matched up and everything we could do wrong defensively, we did it,” Davis said. “They made tough shots and had confidence to beat us. That’s how college basketball is. They played better than we did and we are fortunate to come out with a win.”

Southern Miss 96, Tougaloo 77
LaDavius Draine had a career-high 28 points as Southern Miss topped NAIA member Tougaloo on Saturday.

Draine was 7 of 10 on 3-pointers. He has made 140 in his career, and moved from ninth to fifth on Southern Miss’ career list.

“He’s as fine a young man as I’ve coached in my 29 years,” USM coach Jay Ladner said of Draine. “He does exactly what you tell him to do. He really struggled early in the year, and he has the reputation of being an outstanding shooter. He never got down, came every day for extra shots, and I certainly never wanted to make an issue of it or question him and hurt his confidence. He shot better in the Bahamas, and today he showed a lot of confidence each time he went up for one.”

Tyler Stevenson had 19 points and nine rebounds for Southern Miss (4-9). Gabe Watson added 19 points and eight assists, while Leonard Harper-Baker finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.

The 96 points were a season best for Southern Miss.

Ledarius Woods had 21 points for the Bulldogs. Justin Johnson added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Stanley Williams scored 13 points.

Southern Miss plays Louisiana Tech at home on Dec. 30 in its Conference USA opener.