NASHVILLE -- Ole Miss continues to make its case for a spot in the Big Dance, dominating South Carolina, 76-59, Wednesday to advance at the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament.
Winners in eight of their last 10 games, the sixth-seeded Rebels (16-10) move forward to the tourney quarterfinals where they will face the third seed LSU Friday at approximately 8 p.m. CT at Bridgestone Arena.
Jarkel Joiner and Romello White continued their hot shooting to pace the Rebel offense on Wednesday. After a team-best 15 points in the regular-season finale against Vanderbilt, Joiner dropped a game-high 18 on the Gamecocks and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. White posted 17 points and is averaging 13.2 over his last five outings.
Devontae Shuler poured in 11 points in the second half and finished with 15, while KJ Buffen added eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Ole Miss took the lead for good at the 9:15 mark of the first half, and the 18-point final advantage marked the largest of the game. The Rebels' smothering defense limited South Carolina to 36-percent shooting while recording seven blocks, its most since 2019.
After a competitive start to the game, Ole Miss took control late in the first half. Leading just 27-24 with five minutes left in the frame, The Rebels reeled off a 10-0 run that included six points from Joiner. The Rebels led 41-26 at the break, which was their largest halftime lead over an SEC opponent this season.
South Carolina (6-15) opened the second half on an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to nine but never got closer. Jalyn McCreary topped the Gamecocks with 15, while Wildens Leveque contributed 14.
This marked the Rebels' first SEC tourney win under head coach Kermit Davis after dropping their opening game the last two seasons.
For the latest news and updates regarding Ole Miss Men's Basketball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.
- Ole Miss won its first SEC Tournament game since 2017.
- The Rebels won their third straight game against South Carolina.
- Ole Miss recorded seven blocks, the most in a game since getting nine at South Carolina (Feb. 19, 2019).
- The Rebels' 17-point win was their largest margin of victory in an SEC Tournament game since an 80-60 win over LSU in 2007.
- The trio of Jarkel Joiner (18), Romello White (17) and Devontae Shuler (15) combined for 50 points.
- The Rebels led 41-26 at the half for their biggest halftime lead of the season over an SEC opponent.