Rebels rise up to stun reeling Bulldogs

 

Mississippi State’s Tyson Carter (23) rises up to take a shot against Ole Miss Saturday in Humphrey Coliseum.

Mississippi State’s Tyson Carter (23) rises up to take a shot against Ole Miss Saturday in Humphrey Coliseum. Photo by: Jim Lytle/Special to The Dispatch

 

Adam Minichino

 

 

STARKVILLE -- Successful offensive teams set up their opponents and lay the groundwork for the next possession. 

 

After watching his teammates hit 11 3-pointers against No. 14 Mississippi State on Saturday, Breein Tyree saw an opportunity to get into the act. This time, though, it wasn't from the 3-point line. 

 

Positioned on the right wing, Tyree watched as Nick Weatherspoon came out to guard him on the left wing and glanced for a screener. Instead of waiting for a teammate to come or settling for a shot from behind the arc, Tyree penetrated with the left hand -- the same side he hurt in the opening minute. The Bulldogs were the only ones who felt any pain after Tyree's move. 

 

Tyree's left-handed layup with 49.8 seconds remaining propelled Ole Miss to an 81-77 victory against No. 14 Mississippi State in a Southeastern Conference game before a crowd of 10,021 at Humphrey Coliseum. 

 

"I just attacked him (for) a wide-open layup," said Tyree, who had 19 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field. He also had five assists and zero turnovers in 35 minutes. "That's the one you want to get at the end of the game." 

 

Tyree added two free throws with 9.5 seconds left after MSU (12-3, 0-2) had two possessions in which it had an opportunity to tie the game or to take the lead.  

 

Quinndary Weatherspoon (team-high 18 points) missed a 3-pointer from the left wing on the Bulldogs first attempt to tie the game. Lamar Peters (15 points) appeared to have his left-handed drive down the left lane blocked near the goal. Abdul Ado grabbed the rebound, but he was stripped when he dribbled the ball to gain his balance. 

 

Blake Hinson led Ole Miss with a game-high 26 points. The freshman guard/forward was 8-for-16 from the field, including 5-for-11 from 3-point range. Terence Davis (12 points) and Devontae Shuler (10) also scored in double figures for the Rebels, who earned their 10th-straight victory. They also have won nine of the last 11 games against the Bulldogs. 

 

Ole Miss matched a season high with 12 3-pointers on a season-high 31 attempts. The 38.7-percent shooting effort from behind the arc enabled the Rebels to shoot 46.6 percent from the field, which was a little off their 50.2-percent mark entering the game. That mark was second in the SEC at the start of play Saturday. 

 

The 12 3-pointers were the most MSU has allowed this season. The total was one shy of the 13 hit by Wofford. The 31 attempts were the most against the Bulldogs in a game. 

 

"They were slipping a lot, in terms of the screens, which they do," Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. "They are a very good offensive team. Basically, they're playing with four guards a lot of time out there, so you have to be aware of that. 

 

"In the first half, I thought we defended the three pretty well. They were 5-for-16. In the second half, they really got it going." 

 

Tyree nearly wasn't around to take the winning shot or see any of the 3-pointers. One minute into the game, Tyree tried to get through a screen on the left wing and banged his left shoulder against the Mississippi State player. He writhed on the court in pain for a few seconds before the officials stopped play. Tyree left the game but returned with a little more than 16 minutes to play in the half. 

 

Tyree said the pain was "severe", but he said adrenaline took over and allowed him to return. At halftime, Tyree returned with two black adhesive strips that looked like Band-Aids on his shoulder and his shoulder blade.  

 

"It just shows a lot for his character and his toughness to come back and to play," said Davis, who added the screen was legal, "and then continue to play and it didn't go as great for him. He didn't make a lot of shots, but he played, and that's what experienced guards, experienced players, you have to draw from those guys. That was one of the key elements to us winning the game." 

 

MSU held the largest lead of the game, 32-21, with 7 minutes, 37 seconds to go in the first half after a 3-pointer by Peters. The Bulldogs couldn't apply the knockout blow, though, and led 41-39 at halftime. 

 

Howland said his players appeared to down at the break even though they led. He said they have to do a better job of stay on an even keel and not falling victim to the emotions in a game. 

 

Ole Miss turned the tide in the second half, building a 72-64 lead on a dunk by Tyree with 6:20 to go. Peters responded with seven points in the next two-plus minutes, and Aric Holman added a 3-pointer, but he missed a free throw on what could have been a four-point play. 

 

The Bulldogs had other opportunities down the stretch, but Terence Davis blocked a drive by Peters and Quinndary Weatherspoon had a 3-pointer go in and out. Still, Howland said the Bulldogs didn't execute as well as they needed to. 

 

Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor

 

Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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