Breein Tyree, one of the most prolific scorers in program history and a player whose jersey will unquestionably hang from the Pavilion’s rafters one day, played his final home game Wednesday night.
Student section t-shirts were adorned with his #4 on the back and highlights from an illustrious career were displayed on the jumbotron. A video played at halftime featured Tyree thanking his coaches, managers, family and fans for four years of support. After the game, those that he thanked returned the favor; he even got a shout out from Morgan Freeman.
“Thank you Tyree. I mean it, I really mean it,” Freeman said in a video posted to Ole Miss Basketball’s Twitter.
Head coach Kermit Davis leveled high praise toward his star senior after the game.
“That guy right there, he doesn’t come around often,” Davis said. “He’s just built to score like that at all three levels.”
And Tyree did. He scored an efficient 19 points on just nine attempts en route to a 75-67 win over Missouri. He had a quiet first half, recording six points on 2-5 shooting.
“They were doubling me off of ball screens, trying to get the ball out of my hands,” Tyree said. “I didn’t shoot a lot of shots tonight but I still feel like I affected the game.”
Sophomore Blake Hinson threatened to steal the show with a huge performance in the first half, scoring 19 points and sinking four threes before the break. He was brimming with confidence, rising over defenders with ease to knock down jumper after jumper. The undersized forward was persistent on the offensive glass as well, grabbing three offensive boards including two instances when he successfully put back his own shot.
The Rebels led 20-10 at the 10-minute mark before Missouri hit the jets and began to put more pressure on the home side.
The Tigers scored 30 points in the final 10 minutes of the half but were unable to slow down the Ole Miss offense and put a dent in the lead.
“It was really a tale of two halves,” Davis said after the game. “The first half was really free-flowing, we got in a great rhythm offensively… the thing turned in the last three minutes of the first half… and they just kinda kept the momentum.”
Tyree had little time to reflect after the win but did mention how surreal it was to know he just finished his last home game.
“It was crazy that that was my last time going around [the court] and shaking hands,” he said. “It’s just a great experience.”
Ole Miss plays their final game of the regular season on Saturday against Mississippi State in Starkville where Tyree will play his final regular-season game in a Rebel uniform.
“Our team has a lot of confidence. To me, that’s the most fun game on your schedule. When you can go to your arch rival’s building and play there’s nothing better than that,” Davis said.
When asked about the prospect of playing spoiler to the Bulldogs tournament hopes Tyree responded with a smile: “Oh yea. That’s my biggest motivation, just to go down there and win.”