Rebels look to continue winning ways in state rivalry game


Special to The Dispatch



Two red-hot basketball teams square off today in Hattiesburg when the University of Southern Mississippi plays host to the University of Mississippi in a men's basketball game. 


Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. at Reed Green Coliseum. FSN will have the regional telecast. 


The Rebels enter the contest at 9-1 overall, while looking for a seventh straight victory. Ole Miss has already achieved true road wins at DePaul and Penn State. The Rebels knocked off Louisiana-Lafayette 66-54 at home Wednesday night. 


Southern Miss is 7-2 overall and winners of three straight. In its last outing, Southern Miss recorded 78-62 home win over Louisiana Tech last Saturday. 


The teams will meet for a 24th time, with Ole Miss leading the all-time series, 18-5. The Rebels have won the last two series meetings by a combined total of seven points. This is the eighth all-time meeting in Hattiesburg and first since 1994. 


For Southern Miss, Maurice Bolden is second on the team in scoring (12.8) while grabbing a team-leading 7.2 rebounds. He is also tied for fifth in the league with 1.7 blocks per game. Angelo Johnson is scoring 12.4 points. He is also sixth in the league in assists (3.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7). 


With a 9-1 start this season, the Rebels have won at least nine of their first 10 games for the third time in Andy Kennedy's six seasons at the helm. Their record through 10 games was 9-1 in 2009-10 and 10-0 in 2007-08. Through 10 games last season, Ole Miss was 8-2. The Rebels are looking to start 10-1 for the third time since 2007-08. 




Lady Rebels beat Lipscomb 


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nikki Byrd took a charge midway through the second half that sparked Ole Miss as the Rebels posted a come-from-behind win at Lipscomb Friday night, 72-57. 


With the win, Ole Miss improved to 7-3 while Lipscomb fell to 2-10. 


Byrd recorded her seventh double-double in the last eight games with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Ole Miss trailed by as many as 13 in the game.  


Valencia McFarland led Ole Miss with 23 points while Danielle McCray added nine. 


Lipscomb used an early 10-2 run to go ahead 14-8 with 13:20 left in the half. Ole Miss cut the lead to one, 21-20, on a jumper from Amber Singletary with 9:00 remaining in the half but the Bisons pushed their lead to 10, 34-24, with 3:14 left in the half. 


Valencia McFarland score five points for Ole Miss in the final 30 seconds of the first half as Ole Miss trailed Lipscomb, 39-31 at the half. 


McFarland led the Rebels at the break with seven points while Pa'Sonna Hope had a team-best six rebounds. Ole Miss shot just 29.3 percent from the floor (12-41) in the first half while Lipscomb shot 43.8 percent (14-32).  


Ole Miss started the second half on a 9-2 run capped by a jumper from Kenyotta Jenkins to cut the lead to 41-40 with 15:47 left in the game. 


A 3-pointer from McFarland with 13:44 remaining tied the game at 44-44. Byrd took a charge for Ole Miss with under eight minutes to play which sparked the team and the Rebels took a 53-50 lead. 


The Rebels turned up their defense and pushed their lead to 10, 62-52, with 5:27 to play.  


Ole Miss will host the Magnolia Classic Monday-Wednesday. Ole Miss will host Murray State on Monday at 5 p.m. Murray State will play Cleveland State on Tuesday at 5 p.m. and Ole Miss will host Cleveland State on Wednesday at 1 p.m.



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