Hot shooting propels Ole Miss past Illinois State 81-74

Breein Tyree had a team high 22 points, including 17 in the second half, for his third straight 20+ point game.

Posted: Dec 8, 2018 10:09 PM

NORMAL, Ill. (Ole Miss Athletics/WTVA) - Behind a combined 42 points from Breein Tyree and Terence Davis, the Ole Miss men’s basketball team took its winning ways to the road and emerged with an 81-74 victory over Illinois State Saturday night.

Breein Tyree had a team high 22 points, including 17 in the second half, for his third straight 20+ point game. Terence Davis added 20 points of his own, his third game of the season with twenty points or more. Dominik Olejniczak scored a season high 9 points on 4-6 shooting.

Ole Miss shot 93% from the charity stripe, including a perfect 14-14 in the second half that allowed the Rebels to keep the lead for over thirty minutes of game time. The Rebels didn’t let the crowd at Redbird Arena phase their hot shooting as of late, shooting over 50% for the third straight game.

Balanced scoring was the story for Illinois State with five Redbirds in double figures. Milik Yarbrough scored a team high 19 points.

Illinois State jumped out to an early 8-4 lead that forced head coach Kermit Davis to call timeout. The move paid off as the Ole Miss defense tightened up and forced the Redbirds into a three-minute scoring drought. A three by Blake Hinson followed by a jumper from Terence Davis gave the Rebels their first lead of the game, 9-8 with 14:51 remaining in the first half.

With the Rebels trailing by three, a 7-0 run over 69 seconds prompted an ISU timeout with Ole Miss in front 23-19. Bruce Stevens and Devonte Shuler combined to score 11 points before Terence Davis took over. Another 7-0 run, including five from Davis, pushed the Rebels’ advantage to nine, 34-25.

Ole Miss led 39-32 before the Redbirds got to the free throw line to cut the margin to three. However, a Luis Rodriguez tip-in beat the buzzer to send the Rebels into the locker room up 41-36. Terence Davis went 7 of 10 from the floor to score 16 first half points, while Bruce Stevens added seven points in only four minutes of play due to picking up a pair of fouls. As a team, Ole Miss shot 60 percent from the field (18 of 30) in the first 20 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Illinois State attempted 30 shots as well but made only 13 for a 43.3 percent clip.

The Rebels came up firing on all cylinders to start the second half, using a 11-2 run to take their biggest lead of the night. Terence Davis picked up where he left off with the team’s first points of the stanza before Hinson hit a highly-contested jumper. Breein Tyree followed with a triple try from the wing. Stevens and Shuler joined the action with buckets down low, and Ole Miss built its biggest lead of the ballgame 52-38.

Illinois State used the long ball to bring the game closer. Back-to-back treys sliced the Rebels’ advantage in half, 57-51. After a timeout, Ole Miss pushed its lead back to double digits with the help of an old-fashioned three-point play from Tyree. Two minutes later, Dominik Olejniczak added one of his own to put the Rebels ahead by a dozen, 67-55, with 9:10 left in the game.

Holding the lead, Ole Miss locked down on the defensive end of the court. Illinois State went 6:40 without making a field goal, not able to get within less than five for the remainder of the game. Tyree put the game on ice with eight of the last 10 points, and Ole Miss made all 14 of its free throws in the second half to wrap up the big road victory.

Following the trip north, the Rebels will return to the Magnolia State but remain away from home. For the first time in 11 years, Ole Miss will play a game in the state's capital (Jackson). The Rebels will square off against Southeastern Louisiana at the Mississippi Coliseum (Dec. 12). Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on SECN+ and the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.

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