The Ole Miss men’s basketball team’s disappointing season was ultimately summed up in one play.
Javonte Smart stood in for the inbound underneath the Ole Miss basket, and with Carlos Curry facing the rest of the Tigers on the court, Smart simply bounced the ball off of Curry’s back, gathered it and threw in an uncontested layup.
The Rebels have been a step behind their opponents all year, and the trend continued as the Rebels lost 73-63 to the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge on Saturday.
Any momentum the Rebels gathered from competing against good teams in their last few outings is all but gone as they were totally outclassed from the tip off.
Ole Miss was down 40-20 at the half with only seven baskets from the field on 28 shot attempts. Devontae Shuler got off to a hot start with nine quick points, but the Tigers corralled Breein Tyree and take control of the game quickly.
“Breein’s energy level has got to stay high when he’s not shot-making. We’ve talked about that a lot,” head coach Kermit Davis said. “I thought their guys were physical with him, did some timely switching and when that happens really good players have got to make others better.”
Tyree finished the first half with no points, having to spend most of the first period on the bench with foul trouble.Tyree scored 36 points when the Tigers beat the Rebels by four in Oxford on Jan. 18.
Ole Miss went on a 14-0 run to open the second half from 20 to eight with Tyree getting involved, but the Tigers fended off comeback efforts.
Tyree finished with nine points while Shuler finished with 28. Blake Hinson’s struggles continued as he finished with no points on 0-6 shooting. Khadim Sy, who didn’t start because he missed a class during the week, finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
The Rebels drop to 10-11 with the loss, 1-7 in the SEC. They’ll host South Carolina in the Pavilion on Wednesday at 6 p.m.