Ole Miss upended by Oklahoma in opening round
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Ole Miss men's basketball team could not withstand a blazing hot Oklahoma start in the opening round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Friday afternoon, suffering a 95-72 setback at the Columbia regional.
The Rebels finish their first season under SEC Coach of the Year Kermit Davis with a 20-13 record. It marked Ole Miss' 10th 20-win campaign in the last 13 years.
Terence Davis posted a team-high 17 points in his final game in the Red and Blue. His 1,512 career points ranks 12th on the Rebel career scoring chart. He also connected on four 3-pointers and ends his tenure seventh all-time with 176.
In a return to his home state, Irmo native Devontae Shuler poured in 13 points, marking his fifth straight game in double figures. The sophomore guard picked up his 56th steal of the season to finish in sixth on the Rebel single-season steals list.
Oklahoma (20-13) was led by four double figures scorers led by Kristian Doolittle who had 19 points and 15 rebounds. Rashard Odomes and Christian James scored 20 points apiece while OU scored 44 points in the paint as a team.
The Sooners were nearly perfect out of the gates, scoring the first 12 points of the game. After missing their first shot, the Sooners connected on their next eight attempts. OU led by as many as 20 in the opening half and enjoyed a 50-33 at the break, which marked the most points surrendered by the Rebels in the first half this season and second-most in any half all year.
Ole Miss scored the first five points of the second half to trim the deficit to 12 points but couldn't get any closer the rest of the way, as Oklahoma's torrid shooting never cooled down. The Sooners ended with a 57.6 field goal percentage, which was the second-highest the Rebels faced all year.
The 23-point loss was Ole Miss' worst of the season and the 95 points was the most surrendered.
This marked the Rebels' first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015 and ninth in program history. Ole Miss experienced an eight-win turnaround from last year, which ranked top-five among power conference schools.
- Free throws were 21 of 26 for OU compared to 3 of 4 for Ole Miss. It marked the Rebels' second straight game with just four free throw attempts, which is a season low.
- Devontae Shuler scored 13 points in his home state; he averaged 15.0 ppg over the last three games for Ole Miss.
- Blake Hinson reached double-digit points for the first time in four games with 11.
- OU shot 57.7 percent from the field, the highest opponent field goal percentage the Rebels have faced in the tournament since Kansas in the first round in 1981 (55.5 percent).
- OU's 34 field goals made was the highest total in that category in tournament play since Ole Miss faced BYU in the First Four in 2015 (28 field goals made).