OleMiss cruised to the finish after building a substantial lead in the opening half against the South Alabama Jaguars. The Rebels improved to 9-3 on the season and the Jaguars fell to 7-6. Ole Miss was clicking from beginning to end as they gained the lead with 16:37 to play in the opening half and never looked back, thrashing the Jaguars 92-58. The Rebels found scoring from a myriad of players on the night as five players found themselves in double digit scoring.
“I thought we had moments were we looked like a great basketball team. I think we’re improving. It’s time to improve because it’s going to get real for us pretty quickly,” Head Coach Andy Kennedy said.
The Rebel defense was active as well ,forcing the Jaguars to a dismal 29% (16/66) shooting on the night. The team dominated nearly every aspect of the game as they out rebounded the South Alabama 50-35.The team aslo spread the ball around with 23 assists on 29 made shots as it continues to find itself enters conference play.
“We’ve cleaned up unnecessary rotations defensively. We’re trying to change our looks to keep people off balance. After twelve games we have a better feel for what this team’s capable of doing defensively,” Kennedy said.
Sebastian Saiz continued his dominant play as he notched his 7th double-double of the season with an impressive 23 points and 16 rebounds. The Jaguar defense seemed to have no answers for the big man as he imposed his will in the paint. Deandre Burnett provided a well needed spark in stretches for the Rebels as he shot 4/9 from the three-point line and 9/10 from the free throw line. Overall the Rebels finished with an impressive 84% (26/31) shooting at the free throw line. When these two leaders for the Rebel team are operating as well as they did tonight, the opposing defense better be prepared for a tough outing.
“Sebas has had a monster year to this point. Sebas is the only guy that sustain heavy minutes. (Dre) saw the ball go in. Early he’s struggling. He’s searching and searching, but he always gets to the free throw line,” Kennedy said.
The Rebels looked sharp as they head into SEC play, and open with their biggest test of the season against the Kentucky Wildcats. They will need to some things like turnovers, like the 13 they had on the night against South Alabama.But Kennedy is please with the effort he is getting from his team on both ends of the floor.
“They’re really good. They’re incredibly athletic. Not a lot of weak spots in that roster. They can score. I’ve watched them as a fan but I really focus on what is the best chance that we have and how do we need to play,” Kennedy said of Kentucky.
This is a true test to see how far the Rebels have come since their loss against Virginia Tech. All eyes will be on this Ole Miss team as they begin their fight in conference on December 29th.