OXFORD, Miss. (Ole Miss Athletics/WTVA) - The Ole Miss basketball team finished off a perfect month of December with an 87-57 victory over Florida Gulf Cost in front of 7,551 fans in The Pavilion Saturday afternoon. The wire-to-wire win was the Rebels' seventh consecutive victory, their longest since the end of the 2015 calendar year, and Ole Miss heads into SEC play with a 10-2 record.
With the victory, head coach Kermit Davis became the fourth coach in Ole Miss history to win 10 of his first 12 games guiding the Rebels. Ole Miss also capped off a perfect month (6-0) of December for just the third time since 1950.
Five Rebels scored in double figures led by Terence Davis, who tallied 10 points in each half for his 18th career 20-point game. Breein Tyree added 14 points to go along with a season-high six assists and a career-best four steals. Blake Hinson, Devontae Shuler and Bruce Stevens tallied 11 points apiece.
Ole Miss shot 51.7 percent (31 of 60) from the field, boasting a field goal percentage above 50 percent for the seventh straight game. The Rebels also knocked down a season-high 12 3-pointers (12 of 25) in their largest margin of victory since the 2016-17 campaign.
RaySean Scott Jr. led FGCU (5-10) with 18 points, going 8 of 10 from the field. Dinero Mercurius added 12 off the bench for the Eagles.
The Rebels forced FGCU into four turnovers over the visiting team's first six possessions, jumping out to a 7-0 lead four minutes into the ballgame. Tyree started things off with a three from the wing before Terence Davis followed his own miss with an offensive putback. A midcourt steal by Shuler led to a Hinson dunk, and the Eagles took a timeout to talk things over.
D.C. Davis provided a spark off the bench to help increase the Ole Miss lead. With the Rebels ahead 23-13, the senior guard drilled a three-pointer and then electrified the crowd by finding a soaring Shuler for an alley-oop. Ending the half on a 15-6 run, Ole Miss went into the locker room with its second-largest halftime cushion on the season, 44-26.
Ole Miss made half of its shots in the opening stanza, going 15 of 30 from the field. The trio of D.C. Davis, Terence Davis and Tyree went 5 of 6 from beyond the arc. Forcing 11 FGCU miscues, the Rebels held an 11-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
Coming out for the second half, the Rebels kept their foot on the gas. Hinson knocked down a pair of free throws to bump the lead to 20 within the first minute. Fast forward to less than 10 minutes to go in the game, Tyree nailed his third three-pointer of the game and the 100th of his career. Terence Davis followed by taking the ball coast-to-coast and finishing at the rim while drawing a foul. The sequence gave him 20 on the afternoon. Tyree added an old-fashioned three-point play of his own to make it a 75-41 game.
The Rebels' run continued as Stevens sank a triple to balloon the lead to 37. Ole Miss maintained the comfortable cushion for the remainder of the game. Sophomore walk-on Antonio Morgano put an exclamation point on the win, making the final bucket of the contest for the first two points of his Ole Miss career.
After the non-conference matchup to close out the 2018 calendar year, the Rebels will tip off 2019 with SEC play. Ole Miss heads back to Nashville for the second time in as many weeks, facing Vanderbilt in the Saturday night conference opener (Jan. 5). The contest is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network and can be heard on the airwaves of the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
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Ole Miss won its seventh consecutive game, matching its longest winning streak since seven straight to close the 2015 calendar year.
The Rebels went 6-0 in the month of December, going undefeated in the final month of the calendar year for just the third time since 1950 (December 2015, December 2007).
With the win, Kermit Davis became the fourth head coach in school history to win 10 of his first 12 games, joining B.Y. Walton (1912), Homer Hazel (1926-30) and Andy Kennedy (2007-18).
Ole Miss shot over 50 percent for the seventh consecutive game and eighth time this season.
The Rebels made a season-high 12 three-pointers.
Terence Davis played in his 100th game as a Rebel today and produced the 18th 20-point game of his career (game-high 20 points). The senior from Southaven, Mississippi ranks 28th all-time with 1,197 career points.
Breein Tyree recorded a career-high four steals and made a trio of three-pointers; the third was the 100th of his career.
Sophomore walk-on Antonio Morgano scored his first career points as a Rebel, making the final bucket of the game.
Today's 30-point win was the largest margin of victory for the Rebels since defeating South Alabama 92-58 (34 points) on Dec. 22, 2016.
The Rebels played in front a season-high home attendance of 7,551.
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