Ole Miss basketball beat the Kentucky Wildcats on Tuesday night with a 70-62 victory, snapping an 11-game losing streak against the Wildcats over the past 10 years. The victory marks the first time the Rebels have beaten Kentucky since Feb. 11, 2011.
Senior guard Devontae Shuler led the way for the Rebels to narrowly grasp the win, totaling 17 points and seven assists.
“I thought it was a real physical game. I’m proud of our team,” head coach Kermit Davis said during the post-game press conference. “Rebounding was key, especially against a team like (John Calipari’s) team. Devontae Shuler had one of his best games he’s ever had an Ole Miss Rebel.”
Another team leader for the Rebels was junior forward KJ Buffen, who totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double performance of the season. Forward Romello White added a third double-double performance of the season, totaling 11 points and 10 rebounds.
A new standout in this week’s game, sophomore Sammy Hunter showed that he can be a leader during tough game play. He secured his best performance as Rebel with a career-high of 11 points.
From a statistics perspective, the Rebels shot 46% from the floor and had a 42-28 advantage on the glass. They went 16 for 19, or 84.2%, at the free-throw line. Defensively, Ole Miss kept composure, forcing the Wildcats to shoot at only 38% from the floor. After the defense performance, Ole Miss improved to 10-0 on the season for forcing a team to under 40% from the floor.
After the win, Ole Miss basketball lands at No. 6 in the league with an overall record of 14-10. The team has nine conference wins and eight conference losses. The Kentucky Wildcats left Oxford with an overall record of 8-15 and landed at No. 9 in the league.
The Rebels will now look to defeat the Vanderbilt Commodores for a redeeming victory, as Ole Miss lost to Vanderbilt on Feb. 27.The Commodores are last in the league in standings and also have a 7-14 overall record.
However, when Ole Miss and Vanderbilt battled it out earlier this season, the Commodores came out on top, 75-70. The Rebels put up a fight as White and Shuler combined for a total of 42 points and shot over 50% from the floor. Still, the Commodores found the win from using their depth on the bench, outscoring the Rebels’ bench 39-4 and combining for 37 points including nine three-pointers.
The loss against Vanderbilt counted as the second and final loss in February for the Rebels.
Tipoff against the Commodores is set for Saturday, March 6 at 6 p.m. in The Pavilion for Ole Miss’ senior night and final game before the SEC Tournament starts on March 11.