Guards Propel Ole Miss Past Alabama 78-66
Jan. 23, 2018

By Brian Scott Rippee,

- Guard play has been the name of the game for the Ole Miss, and that's exactly what catalyzed them to a 78-66 win over Alabama Tuesday night to improve to 4-0 at home in SEC play.

The victory improved the Rebels to 11-9 on the season and 4-4 in league play. Alabama fell to 13-7 (5-3 SEC).

Deandre Burnett led all scorers with 24 points. Terence Davis and Markel Crawford complimented him with 15 each. The Rebel backcourt combined for 63 points on the night.

"Our four veterans, Deandre, Breein, Terence and Markel play well then we are a pretty good basketball team," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "They did that tonight."

A rather up-and-down first half was largely defined by scoring droughts and long runs. Ole Miss jumped out to an 18-9 lead in the game's first seven minutes before Alabama fired off an 18-0 run that saw the Rebels go scoreless for nearly eight minutes of game time.

Ole Miss responded by finishing the half on a 23-4 run and snagged a 41-31 lead going into the locker room.

"I am proud of our guys for taking that punch and fighting back," Kennedy said. "We finished the half strong."

Burnett had 16 first half points on a nifty 6 of 8 shooting. The senior guard made contested jump shots and helped the Rebels spread the floor when they went to a smaller lineup.

"We said at the beginning of the year if we can get three of our five guards to play well, the core of our team, then we will be a really good team," Burnett said. "When we get four, we said no one can beat us. We got four tonight."

Alabama came into the game as the number one rated team in the SEC in defensive efficiency. The Crimson Tide are a long and athletic bunch that make driving the ball off the bounce difficult as well as finishing at the rim. Ole Miss shot 50 percent from the field on the night.

"We knew we had to move them, drive them and we made shots," Kennedy said. "It always helps when you make shots."

Alabama sliced into the Ole Miss lead quick in the second half. An 11-2 run in the first five minutes trimmed the margin to 43-42.  The Rebels continued to make shots and defended well enough to swell its lead back out to five and then to 10 at 60-50. Alabama shot just 37.5 percent in the second half and were 25 of 62 for the game.

Crawford contested a jumper followed by a strip of Alabama's Daniel Giddens in the post. He dished to Davis for a bucket in transition that made it 64-50 with six minutes left gave the Rebels their largest lead of the night. The game was never in serious jeopardy after that.

"He made a huge scouting report play," Kennedy said. "He is a 22-year-old postgrad. He knew that guy was going to lift, and he gets that steal and goes down and gets that dunk. That really fueled us."

Ole Miss hasn't dropped an SEC game at home after losing three in the non-conference portion of the season. The team has played with an edge and sense of urgency in The Pavilion that it hopes it can carry on the road during the final month and a half of the season.

"Give them credit," Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. "They've been a hot team at home during SEC play."

Road wins are hard to come by for anyone with as deep as the SEC has been this year, and even with a break in SEC play this weekend for the SEC-Big 12 challenge, it won't get any easier with a road trip to Texas on Saturday.

"It's our energy and coming off fast from the jump," Burnett said. "These teams we have played on the road are great teams, but each game has come down the last possession. We are right there. We know what we have to do, and I think our team is more than capable of doing it."

The good news? Ole Miss is getting great production from what Burnett called the core of this team, and that is the guard play. The Rebels are playing their best basketball of the season.

"The best thing about it is that we have a lot of opportunities in the future," Kennedy said. "That starts Saturday. I think the Big 12/SEC Challenge is huge to see how these two leagues stack up to one another."

For the latest news and information on Ole Miss Basketball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.


  • The Rebels won their seventh straight home game versus Alabama, a streak that dates back to 2010.
  • Ole Miss improved to 4-0 in the SEC and 10-3 overall at home this season, while increasing its current home winning streak to six games.
  • The Rebels shot 50.0 percent from the floor, their best shooting percentage in an SEC game this season.
  • Dendre Burnett scored the first five points of the game, which put him over 1,000 points for his career.
  • Burnett finished with a season-high 24 points.
  • In SEC wins, Burnett is averaging 20.8 ppg.
  • After Alabama went on an 18-0 run to flip the game from a nine-point Ole Miss lead to a nine-point Crimson Tide lead (a scoring drought of 7:49), Ole Miss responded with a 23-4 run to take a 41-31 lead going into the half.
  • Ole Miss Basketball fan and actor Morgan Freeman attended the contest, and Ole Miss honored him for receiving the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Lifetime Achievement Award Sunday night.



    • SIDEBAR: A Look Back at an Ole Miss Sweep of Winthrop

      Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - Grae Kessinger got just enough of the bat on a breaking ball on the outside corner from Winthrop's Dalton Whitaker. The ball squirted towards the hole on the left side and grazed the outstretched glove of Eagle... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Clutch Hitting Drives Rebels in Game 2

      Saturday, February 17, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - The pitch came out of Winthrop's Colton Rendon's hand at 81 mph with the intention of breaking but hung as it floated towards Cole Zabowski at the plate. The sophomore first baseman turned and crushed it... read more

    • SIDEBAR: Rolison, Rebels Roll Past Winthrop in Opener

      Friday, February 16, 2018 - Baseball

      OXFORD, Miss - A dominant summer in the Cape Cod League brought forth some lofty expectations for Ole Miss' Ryan Rolison, something he's never shied away from.The sophomore lefty certainly lived up to them on opening day as he put... read more

    • Rebel Alums: Where are They Now

      Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      In our second installment of Rebel Alums: Where are They Now, we take a look at the All-American twin duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann.In 2012, Marcel Thiemann became the fourth player in Ole Miss men's tennis history to... read more

    • Baseball Releases 2018 Walk Out Songs

      Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Baseball

      With the first pitch of the 2018 season just days away, check out the much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @OleMissBSB and using the hashtag #RebWalkOuts.#1 Jacob Adams:... read more

    • Bianco Previews 2018 Team At Media Day

      Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - Baseball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, Mike Bianco spoke with a sense of excitement in his voice as he stood at a podium in the Diamond Club seating area at Swayze Field at media day. Ole Miss opens its 2018... read more

    • Kennedy Leaves Ole Miss Better Than He Found It

      Monday, February 12, 2018 - Men's Basketball

      By Brian Scott Rippee, One of the first things Andy Kennedy said on Monday afternoon following the announcement that he would step down at the end of next season is that he felt a sense of calmness and... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Outfield

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      The final edition of our Ole Miss softball preview looks at the Rebel outfield, a speedy and athletic group that head coach Mike Smith is excited about heading into the 2018 season.Left Field: Elantra CoxThe senior is an electric... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Pitchers

      Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - Softball

      Part two of our Ole Miss softball preview takes a look at the Rebel pitchers. This group was headlined by Kaitlin Lee last season with Brittany Finney, Morgan Bruce and others providing solid options as well. Head Coach Mike... read more

    • Softball Season Preview: Infield

      Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - Softball

      Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

      Friday, February 2, 2018 - Softball

      In the 10th and final of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features first baseman/designated player Abbey Latham. Abbey Latham | 1B/DP | R/R | 5-11 | Fr. | Livingston,... read more

    • Scholtz Looks Forward to Davis Cup

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Men's Tennis

      OXFORD, Miss. - While his alma mater kicks off a big weekend with two home matches at their brand new indoor tennis center, Rebel All-American Nik Scholtz will be representing his home country, South Africa, in Davis Cup at the... read more

    • National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Soccer

      OXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.The week-long training... read more

    • #RebsBSB Season Preview: Bullpen

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Baseball

      The bullpen was undoubtedly the backbone of Ole Miss' 2017 team. The Rebels had arguably the strongest bullpen in the SEC, one with a variety of different arms with closer Dallas Woolfolk anchoring the back end as the team's... read more

    • FRESH FACES: Softball's Jessica Puk

      Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Softball

      In the ninth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features utility player Jessica Puk. Jessica Puk | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington... read more




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago