No. 18 Ole Miss rolls Arkansas in Oxford

By: David Brandt, The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, January 19, 2019
Mississippi center Dominik Olejniczak (13) shoots a hook shot over Arkansas forward Reggie Chaney (35) during the first half of the NCAA college basketball game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Mississippi center Dominik Olejniczak (13) shoots a hook shot over Arkansas forward Reggie Chaney (35) during the first half of the NCAA college basketball game in Oxford, Miss., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

— D.C. Davis played a grand total of 16 minutes last season, yet there he was on Saturday, leading a fast break opportunity during a crucial portion of the second half in a key conference game.

The former walk-on spied Terence Davis streaking toward the rim and let a high pass fly. It was perfectly placed and Davis grabbed it in midair, slammed it home and the 18th-ranked Rebels were well on their way to an 84-67 victory over Arkansas at The Pavilion.

The Rebels' stars had good games against the Razorbacks.

The lesser-known players might have played even better.

Breein Tyree scored 22 points and Terence Davis added 18 in a game the Rebels never trailed. Ole Miss also got huge production from role players: Bruce Stevens scored 14 points — including 10 in the second half — Dominik Olejniczak added 13 points and D.C. Davis had seven points and four assists in his first start of the season.

The surprising Rebels — winners of 11 of their last 12 — keep finding new ways to win.

"I've got so much love for D.C. and I'm so happy for him because he puts in so much work," Tyree said. "He got a great opportunity to show it tonight and really he's been playing well the whole season."

Ole Miss (14-3, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) pushed out to an 11-point lead by halftime and had a comfortable advantage through most of the second half. The Rebels had a 40-31 rebounding edge and helped force 17 Arkansas turnovers to bounce back from their first league loss earlier in the week.

"We've had some great wins, but that was probably our best win of the year," Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. "Just the response after losing your first league game."

Arkansas (10-7, 1-4) has lost four straight games since winning its conference opener. The Razorbacks were led by Keyshawn Embery-Simpson, who scored 16 points. Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said his team made some good adjustments to get back into the game early in the second half, but couldn't keep the momentum.

"Their experience showed and our inexperience showed," Anderson said.

Ole Miss was in control from the opening tip, jumping out to an 11-2 lead in the opening minutes. The Rebels got some unexpected early production from Olejniczak, a 7-footer who poured in 13 points on 5 of 5 shooting from the field before the break.

Terence Davis made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Rebels a 46-35 halftime advantage.

Arkansas shot just 6 of 23 (26 percent) from 3-point range. The team's five starters combined for just 32 points.

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas: It was another frustrating game for the Razorbacks, who are losing ground in the SEC race in a hurry. Arkansas struggled with turnovers and didn't take advantage of Daniel Gafford's 6-foot-11 presence down low. The team's leading scorer this season had just nine points.

Ole Miss: It's a nice recovery for the Rebels, which lost their first conference game to LSU earlier in the week. The Rebels continue to get good production from role players, including Olejniczak, Bruce Stevens and guard D.C. Davis, who played more minutes since usual starter Devonte Shuler was limited with a foot injury.

UP NEXT

Arkansas returns home to face Missouri on Wednesday.

Ole Miss travels to face Alabama on Tuesday.


Earlier

Ole Miss 84, Arkansas 67 - Final

Breein Tyree scored a game-high 22 points and shooting guard Terence Davis added 18 points as the Rebels routed Arkansas in Oxford.

Tyree and Davis finished 13/26 from the floor and Davis was one rebound and three assists shy of a triple-double. Ole Miss' Bruce Stevens added 14 points and Dominik Olejniczak chipped in 13 points on 5/7 from the floor.

The Razorbacks (10-7, 1-4 SEC) were led in scoring by a player other than Isaiah Joe, Daniel Gafford, Mason Jones or Jalen Harris for the first time this season. Keyshawn Embery-Simpson scored a team- and career-high 16 points and Gabe Osabuohien added a career-best 13 on 5/9 shooting.

Gafford was held to 10 points or less for the third time in five SEC games, and Mason Jones, averaging around 20 points per game in league play entering today, finished with five on 1/10 shooting. Isaiah Joe led all Arkansas starters with 11 points on 3/9 from distance.

The Razorbacks return to SEC play and Bud Walton Arena on Wednesday against Missouri.

Ole Miss 79, Arkansas 63 - 3:04 left

The Razorbacks have gotten solid days from Embery-Simpson and Osabuohien but it's not been nearly enough. Arkansas' starters are being outscored 33-30 by the reserves. Embery-Simpson has a career-high 16, Osabuohien has a career-high 11 and Joe leads all starters with 11. Gafford has nine points, nine rebounds and five turnovers.

Breein Tyree has a game-high 20 points for the Rebels. Ole Miss has been good defensively today, turning Arkansas over 16 times and allowing just .94 PPP.

Ole Miss 70, Arkansas 54 - 7:44 left

Breein Tyree, D.C. Davis and Terence Davis have combined for 19 of Ole Miss' 24 second-half points so far. Terence Davis now up to 18 points, eight rebounds and seven dimes. Tyree has 18 as well, and the Rebels are shooting 48 percent for the game.

Embery-Simpson and Osabuohien have combined for 23 points today, and Gafford/Jones have just 10 between them. Embery-Simpson has been ultra-aggressive today, which is nice to see. But Ole Miss has basically made Arkansas' other guys beat them and it's working.

Ole Miss 60, Arkansas 45 - 11:58 left

Rebels scored nine of the next 11 points after Arkansas pulled within eight and grabbed their largest lead of the day. Terence Davis, again, is flirting with a triple-double: 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists. D.C. Davis and Terence Davis have 12 points between them in the second half.

The Razorbacks meanwhile are 4/14 from the floor since the break. Osabuohien has four, putting him at a career-high 11 points for the day. Joe has five as well on 2/5 shooting.

Ole Miss 51, Arkansas 43 - 15:27 left

D.C. Davis scored the only bucket between the timeouts. His layup came after Mason Jones airmailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Jones, on the Razorbacks' next possession, missed an absolutely point-blank layup at the rim. He's had a rough day (0/5 FG, 0/3 3FG) to put it lightly.

Ole Miss 49, Arkansas 43 - 16:49 left

Razorbacks have opened the second half with some life offensively. Mason Jones finally scored on a split at the line following a strong drive to the rim, and Isaiah Joe has five points on 2/3 from the floor, including a deep 3 in transition when his man got lost behind something of a pick from Gafford.

Gabe Osabuohien just threw one down to pull the Razorbacks within six. Gafford hit him with just his 13th assist of the season. It's a big score, and Arkansas is back in this one if it can string a few more stops together. Rebels are 1/5 from the floor since the break.

Ole Miss 46, Arkansas 35 - Halftime

Terence Davis cans a 3-pointer just before the buzzer and sends the Rebels to the locker room up double digits. Davis has 13 for Ole Miss, as does Olejniczak, and Breein Tyree has 11. No other Ole Miss player has more than four points.

Rebels shot 51 percent from the floor in the first half, 3/11 from distance and is winning the rebounding battle 22-13. Ole Miss also has 13 second-chance points. Davis' 3 before the break came after Arkansas tipped the ball out of bounds following a Davis miss from the top of the key.

Gafford and Gabe Osabuohien lead Arkansas with seven points apiece. Osabuohien and Isaiah Joe lead the team in field goal attempts with five. Unless he is wide open under the rim, that shouldn't be the case for Gabe, but he's had to step in for Reggie Chaney, who battled foul trouble early on.

Arkansas' bench had a solid half offensively, scoring 17 points. Keyshawn Embery-Simpson added four points, Adrio Bailey made two bunnies at the rim and Sills canned two free throws. Razorbacks have to look to Gafford more, though. He is just 1/3 from the floor (5/6 at the line).

Arkansas' first-half defense has been very suspect the last three games and placed it in subpar situations after the break. Ole Miss scored at a 1.243 point per possession clip in the first half. Coming off its worst two defensive games of the season, the Razorbacks seem to have made no progress in that regard, and that's not great when you're largely average offensively (10th in SEC in OE).

Ole Miss 38, Arkansas 27 - 3:36 left first half

Razorbacks players and Mike Anderson both spoke on Thursday about throwing the first punch in games in hopes of not repeating Tuesday's beatdown at Tennessee. It seems like nothing has changed. Arkansas looks unorganized, it isn't communicating defensively and showing little life.

Olejniczak has a season-high 13 points in 13 minutes. Terence Davis has 10 on 3/6 from the floor.

Isaiah Joe has hit both of the Razorbacks' 3-pointers today. He's 2/5 from deep. Nine Arkansas players have seen the floor today and Mason Jones, the team's leading scorer in SEC play, is the only on who hasn't scored. Reggie Chaney, who earned his second start today, picked up his second foul with 9:13 left in the half and had to sit.

Ole Miss 28, Arkansas 19 - 7:27 left first half

Jalen Harris knocked down Arkansas first 3-pointer of the game on the Razorbacks' final possession before the under-8 media timeout. He dribbled through and into more trouble then hit Isaiah Joe, who found Harris after relocating in the left corner in front of the Ole Miss bench. Daniel Gafford leads Arkansas with five points, all at the line.

Rebels are shooting 53 percent so far today and Olejniczak has a game-high 11 points on 4/4 from the floor and 3/3 at the line. Terence Davis is flirting with a triple-double early on with eight points, four rebounds and four assists just more than 12 minutes in. Breein Tyree has two points on 1/4 shooting.

Ole Miss 15, Arkansas 10 - 11:36 left first half

Olejniczak scored at the rim in transition and KJ Buffen added a bucket to extend the Rebels' lead to five at the under-12 media timeout.

Gabe Osabuohien has to stay within himself on the offensive end. He scored the first time he touched the ball on a nice spin move into the lane, but right now he's ninth on the team in minutes played but third in usage rate. Turned the ball over the last time he was fed at the elbow.

No Razorbacks player has more than one score today.

Ole Miss 11, Arkansas 8 - 13:16 left first half

A pair of free throws from Desi Sills, a putback from Keyshawn Embery-Simpson and a spinning score by Gabe Osabuohien and the Razorbacks are back within three after a horrendous start. Embery-Simpson's bucket was just his third of the SEC season. Arkansas would love to get more of that from him.

Ole Miss 9, Arkansas 2 - 15:57 left first half

Not a great start for Arkansas on either end, obviously. Razorbacks look a step too fast offensively and out of sync, opening the game 0/3 from the floor with three turnovers. Daniel Gafford has Arkansas' only points at the line.

Pick-and-roll coverage has been spotty in the early going. Gafford and the ballhandler's man have attempted a double just about each time the Rebels run ballscreen action, and Ole Miss has made Arkansas pay. Dominik Olejniczak has a pair of buckets slipping the screen and finishing. He has 5 points so far.

Pregame

Arkansas' starting lineup: Jalen Harris, Isaiah Joe, Mason Jones, Reggie Chaney and Daniel Gafford.

Reggie Chaney will make the second start of his career today. He also started against Texas State in the next-to-last game of the 2018 calendar year. It didn't go great that day, so we'll see if there has been more growth and if he and Gafford can complement one another today as they have most of the season when sharing the floor. Also keeping an eye on Jalen Harris. His turnover numbers have been up since his 9-assist, 0-turnover game at Texas A&M.

Ole Miss' starters: Breein Tyree, Terence Davis, Blake Hinson, D.C. Davis and Dominik Olejniczak.

Terence Davis has been an Arkansas killer in the past. He scored 30 points in the Rebels' loss at Bud Walton Arena last season, but added just six in Ole Miss' home loss to the Razorbacks weeks later. Breein Tyree is another weapon Kermit Davis has. His offensive production has been a bit up and down in league play, but he's capable of 31-point nights like he had at Vanderbilt to open conference.

Live updates by Scottie Bordelon

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