Mississippi State slips past Ole Miss in overtime

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, February 18, 2023

OXFORD (AP) — Mississippi State runs the ‘Sip for this season, and still has a head of steam toward the postseason.

Tolu Smith scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Cameron Matthews also scored 17 points as Mississippi State beat Ole Miss 69-61 in an offensive scrum in overtime on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (18-9, 6-8 Southeastern Conference) won for the sixth time in seven games and kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They also swept the season series from Ole Miss (10-17, 2-12).

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“You know, rivalry games are a big deal,” first-year Mississippi State head coach Chris Jans said. “Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve made it a point to jump right in the middle of it and be about it and not shy away from it. That’s been our attitude everywhere we’ve been, and it’s been no different when we got here.”

Dashawn Davis scored 12 points and D.J. Jeffries scored 10 for Mississippi State, which overcame 19 turnovers by shooting 18-for-21 from the foul line.

Jaemyn Brakefield scored 20 points for Ole Miss, Matthew Murrell scored 15 points despite going 4-for-17 fromt he field, and Myles Burns scored 10 with a career-high seven steals.

Burns’ defensive effort was the second-highest steals total in Ole Miss history. Gerald Glass (1988) and Eric Laird (1983) share the record with eight.

The Bulldogs shot 16.7 percent (3-for-18) from 3-point range while Ole Miss shot 13.6 percent (3-for-22). The long ball was so hard to come by that Jeffries inadvertently ricocheted one in off the corner of the backboard with the shot clock expiring with 3:25 left in overtime for a 61-56 Bulldogs lead.

Mississippi State made all four field goals and all four foul shots in overtime, and never trailed in the extra period. They outscored the Rebels 13-5.

Smith made a layup with 29 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 56-all for Mississippi State. Eric Reed Jr. came up with a block on Murrell who lost his footing on his jump-shot attempt trying for the win.

“It’s my first time sweeping them, so it feels good,” said MSU’s Matthews.

Mississippi plays at Missouri on Tuesday. Ole Miss travels to play Auburn on Wednesday.