OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Devontae Shuler and KJ Buffen scored 20 points apiece and led a decisive second half rally to lift Mississippi to an 80-63 win over Tennessee Tech on Sunday.
Shuler finished 8 of 12 from the field and added five rebounds and five assists while Khadim Sy added 11 points. Ole Miss (9-3) shot 18 of 26 (69%) from the field in the second half and out rebounded the Golden Eagles 37-30, including a game-high 10 rebounds by Blake Hinson.
Buffen had 16 second-half points to highlight a decisive 23-6 run as Ole Miss built an insurmountable 67-47 lead with 6:38 left. In the four-minute surge, Shuler had two baskets, two rebounds, a blocked shot, an assist and forced two Tennessee Tech turnovers that led to easy baskets.
Jr. Clay and Darius Allen led Tennessee Tech (3-10) with 13 points apiece, including four rebounds and three assists by Clay. The Golden Eagles led 32-31 at halftime, but finished 24 of 60 (40%) from the field, including 7 of 18 (39%) from 3-point range.
Tennessee Tech: The Golden Eagles kept it interesting, leading early in the second half before falling off the pace in the final 15 minutes.
Considering first-year coach John Pelphrey's club had significant contributions from eight sophomores and freshmen, the performance was encouraging as conference play begins this week.
Ole Miss: The workmanlike win sets up a road game with 11-1 Wichita State that holds NCAA Tournament implications for both teams. The Rebels also face a January Southeastern Conference slate that includes four road games. The Rebels had 22 assists on 30 field goals, including five apiece from Austin Crowley and Shuler.
Tennessee Tech: Visits Eastern Kentucky in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams on Thursday.
Ole Miss: Visits Wichita State on Saturday.
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