MONTREAL, Canada (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Facing adversity and a halftime deficit north of the border, head coach Kermit Davis turned to his 1-3-1 zone defense for the final 20 minutes of Monday night’s game in Montreal. The move by the Rebels’ new coach paid off as the Ole Miss men’s basketball team rallied for an 84-77 victory over a hot-shooting Concordia club.
With the win, Ole Miss improved to 2-0 on its 2018 Canada Tour. The Rebels outscored the Stingers 49-32 in the second half after trailing by 10 at the break. Thanks, in large part, to the 1-3-1 zone, the Ole Miss defense forced 23 Concordia turnovers throughout the night to combat 15 three-pointers made by the Stingers.
The Rebels relied on their veterans to bring them back into the game and pull off the win. Junior guard Breein Tyree led all scorers with 23 points, including 16 in the second half. Terence Davis was a force on both ends of the floor, tallying 18 points to go along with team highs in assists (6) and steals (6). Down low, center Dominik Olejniczak added 14 points by going 6 of 6 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Devontae Shuler was active all night, playing a game-high 33 minutes and contributing nine points. One newcomer that proved to be impressive was freshman Blake Hinson, who recorded 12 points as a reserve.
Concordia had four players in double figures led by Ricardo Monge (15 points). Adrian Armstrong, Cedrick Bryan Coriol and Olvier Simon had 14 points apiece. As a team, Concordia went 15 of 35 (42.9 percent) from three-point land. Take away the third quarter in which they went 2 of 9 from long distance, the Stingers made 50 percent of their threes throughout the rest of the game.
The Rebels won the tip, and they wasted no time in getting on the board as a smooth pick-and-roll led to an easy finish for Olejniczak down low. However, the Stingers answered with an 8-2 run before the power went out in the gymnasium due to a Montreal thunderstorm. Following the 12-minute delay, Concordia kept the momentum by draining threes. With the help of four triple tries, the home team held a 26-18 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Both teams boasted impressive shooting percentage as Concordia went 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) from the floor, and Ole Miss shot at a 58.3 percent clip (7 of 12).
Concordia drilled two more three-pointers to begin the second quarter, building the margin to 14. Tyree scored the Rebels’ first four points of the stanza before Terence Davis got going. The duo tallied 13 of the team’s 17 points throughout the quarter (Tyree-7, Davis 6). Despite the success of the veterans, Concordia continued to hit shots from beyond the arc. Sinking seven three-pointers in the opening half, the Stingers took a 45-35 lead into the locker room despite the Rebels holding them scoreless for the final 2:46.
Early in the third, Ole Miss sliced the margin to a one possession game, 49-46. However, five straight points kept Concordia ahead before the Rebels made their run. The Rebel defense forced three turnovers to spark a 9-0 run capped off by a Terence Davis three to give Ole Miss its first lead since the game’s opening minutes. The Stingers responded with a three to flip the game in the game in their favor one last time, but Ole Miss countered with a 12-0 run that included an old-fashioned three-point play from Hinson towards the end of the third quarter. Coming out for the fourth, the freshman drilled a three to keep the momentum with the Red and Blue.
After outscoring Concordia 27-12 in the third quarter to flip the script, Ole Miss built its lead behind Tyree and Olejniczak. The junior guard tallied seven straight points for the Rebels, while the seven-footer rattled off six points of his own down the stretch. The Stingers continued to convert from long distance late, but it wasn’t enough as Ole Miss closed out the comeback victory.
Up next on the #OleCanada Tour, the Rebels travel to the nation’s capital, Ottawa, for a pair of games. The first contest begins at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday night (Aug. 8) against Canadian powerhouse Carleton. While the game will not be streamed, live updates will be provided on Twitter at @OleMissMBB.
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