Local Teams

National Basketball Association
Mississippi 90, Tenn-Martin 43
When: 5:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Where: The Pavilion at Ole Miss, Oxford, Mississippi
Officials: # Wesley Ford, # Hunter Allen, # Terry Oglesby
Attendance: 875

The Ole Miss Rebels recovered their defensive form and smothered the visiting UT Martin Skyhawks on their way to a 90-43 victory in Oxford on Tuesday.

KJ Buffen led Ole Miss (5-1) with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and was one of four Rebels who scored in double figures. Jarkel Joiner also finished with 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting and Matthew Murrell finished with a career-high 13 points off the bench. Austin Crowley also had 11 points.

Devontae Shuler scored only six points, but was more of a facilitator with eight assists.

Ole Miss, which entered the game with the fourth-best scoring defense in the nation allowing 54.6 points per game, established dominance early and limited the Skyhawks (3-2) to 17-for-56 shooting (30.4 percent) and 6-for-20 (30.0 percent) from 3-point range.

It was a stark contrast from the Rebels' last game -- their first loss of the season against Dayton -- when the Flyers shot 60 percent in the second half.

Meanwhile, the Rebels complemented their stingy defense with their highest scoring output of the season.

Tied at 5, Ole Miss separated quickly with a 19-2 run over a seven-minute span in the first half keyed by Buffen's aggressiveness attacking the basket and breaking UT Martin's zone defense.

The Rebels led 47-19 at halftime and continued to pour it on by opening the second half with an 18-2 surge eventually stretching their advantage to as many as 55 points at 84-29.

Ajani Kennedy scored seven of UT Martin's first nine points as he and Anthony Thomas each led the Skyhawks with seven.

But Ole Miss held UT Martin's leading scorer, Cameron Holden (averaging 18.3 points entering the game) scoreless until he made a free throw with 7:45 left in the game. Holden finished with only six points and shot 2-for-11 from the field.

Ole Miss also crushed UT Martin inside, finishing with a 45-22 rebounding advantage led by Luis Rodriguez's nine boards and Buffen's six. Romello White also had five rebounds to go along with eight points and three assists.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Tenn-Martin   Mississippi
Ajani Kennedy 7 Scoring KJ Buffen 16
Kenton Eskridge 3 Assists Devontae Shuler 8
Cameron Holden 4 Rebounds Luis Rodriguez 9
Kenton Eskridge 2 Free Throws Made Sammy Hunter 3
Kenton Eskridge 3 Steals Robert Allen 1
La-Quiem Walker 2 Blocks KJ Buffen 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Tenn-Martin 43 30.4 6-20 3-6 10 15 3 7 20
Mississippi 90 59.3 9-22 11-16 25 41 5 7 16