Ole Miss men’s hoops falls to Tennessee 63-59 in SEC opener

OLE MISS ATHLETICS- Keeping pace with the visitors throughout the second half and getting within two points with one minute to play, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team eventually fell in a tough game with No. 7 Tennessee 63-59 on Wednesday in the SJB Pavilion.

It was the Volunteers (11-2, 1-0 SEC) that scored first, before Ole Miss (8-5, 0-1 SEC) took a 9-8 lead by the first media timeout. A three-pointer from Amaree Abram made it a 20-15 game in favor of the Rebels with 10:42 before the half, before Theo Akwuba made a jumper in the paint to put the home team up by 10, 27-17 with 8:24 on the clock. A defensive rebound from Myles Burns turned into two, after he found Abram for the score to give Ole Miss a 34-28 advantage, a score they would take into the locker room at the midway break.

The Rebels held their lead to begin the second half, before the Volunteers drew the score even at 36-all with 13:44 left to play. An offensive rebound and put back by Akwuba at the 11:07 mark put Ole Miss up 43-41, before a pair of scores by Olivier Nkamhoua for Tennessee helped the seventh-ranked team go out in front. A three from Jaemyn Brakefield, one of his four in the game, pulled the Rebels within one, down 52-51 with five minutes left. Free throws by Tennessee to close out the game would keep the lead in their favor.

Brakefield led Ole Miss in the scoring column with a season-best 18 points, going a perfect 4-4 from the three-point line. The junior from Jackson, Miss. became just the eighth Rebel in school history to shoot a perfect 100 percent from three in a game with a minimum of four attempts, a feat last accomplished by Devontae Shuler when he went 5-5 on Dec. 10, 2020 against Jackson State. For the fifth time this season, Myles Burns led the team in rebounds with six. Abram chipped in 10 points for the Rebels coming off the bench.

Ole Miss continues their conference schedule with a road game at Alabama, who is currently ranked eighth in the nation, on Tuesday, January 3 at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.

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