NEW YORK (AP) — Breein Tyree scored 18 points to lead Ole Miss to a 74-72 come-from-behind victory over Penn State in the first game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center on Wednesday night.
Blake Hinson added 17 for the Rebels, who improved to 5-1. Bryce Williams finished with 15 points and KJ Buffen had 13.
Lamar Stevens scored 22 points for the Nittany Lions (5-1). Mike Watkins contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds. Myreon Jones added 12 points.
Ole Miss trailed by 21 early in the second half, only to tie the game 70-all on Tyree’s layup and free throw with 1:06 left.
Penn State regained the lead 72-70 on a Stevens layup, but Tyree drilled a jumper and Williams’ two free throws gave Ole Miss their first — and only — lead.
Penn State jumped out to a 20-6 lead in the first 7:27, led by 16 with 3:38 remaining and built a 43-27 halftime advantage. The Nittany Lions forced 14 turnovers in the first half, and 20 of their 43 points were scored in the paint.
Jones’ dunk at the 6:13 mark stretched Penn State’s lead to 54-35.
Following a timeout, Ole Miss ripped a 15-3 run in a span of 4:18 to pull to 57-50, but a Stevens left-side 3 as the shot clock expired pushed Penn State’s lead back to 10. It grew to 66-52 before Ole Miss went on an 11-0 run over a span of 2:21 to cut the deficit to 66-63.
Whereas Ole Miss continued to make shots, Penn State went cold. Following a Watkins’ jumper with 7:21 left, the Nittany Lions only scored six points— all from the free-throw line.
Ole Miss: Credit the Rebels for their resilience and shooting in the second half. The Rebels made 16 of 37 from the field after halftime, including 6 of 11 from 3, and made all nine of their free-throw attempts.
Penn State: It was the first loss of the season for the Nittany Lions, who finished last season’s Big Ten Conference schedule with a 7-3 record that included wins over ranked Michigan and Maryland.
Ole Miss: Advances to the championship game on Friday to face Oklahoma State.
Penn State: Will meet Syracuse in the third-place game on Friday.
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