After fans of Ole Miss spent the first part of Thanksgiving weekend focusing on the football team in the annual “Egg Bowl” against rival Mississippi State, they can turn their attention to the basketball program and see how the Rebels rebound from an uneven showing in Charleston S.C.
Following two losses in the Charleston Classic, Ole Miss looks to get back on track Friday afternoon when it hosts Mississippi Valley State in Oxford, Miss.
The Rebels (3-2) scored 82 and 93 points respectively during home wins over New Orleans and Charleston Southern, but when the level of competition increased, they sandwiched losses to Marquette and Boise State around an 18-point win over Elon.
The first loss was a six-point decision when Ole Miss shot a respectable 46.8 percent against Marquette on Nov. 18. After shooting 49.1 percent against Elon, the Rebels shot 36.8 percent and allowed 56 percent shooting in the second half of Sunday’s 60-50 loss to Boise State.
“We turned it over, couldn’t get to the free-throw line, they shot 56 percent and out-rebounded us in the second half,” Rebels coach Kermit Davis said. “That was the story. We weren’t a very tough team. We let not being able to make some plays offensively affect us guarding down the stretch.”
Jarkel Joiner scored 24 points in his last appearance in front of home fans but scored 23 points combined in the two losses at Charleston and shot 8-of-23 in those losses.
Mississippi Valley State (0-2) is 358th in the KenPom rankings and the alma mater of Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice is allowing opponents to shoot 64.7 percent after dropping its first two games by a combined 87 points. The team went 2-22 last season.
The Delta Devils opened the season with a 119-61 loss at St. John’s on Nov. 9 and are returning to action for the first time since shooting 35.5 percent and missing 13 of 16 3-point tries and 13 free throws in a 95-66 loss at Western Athletic Conference foe California Baptist.
Robert Carpenter is Mississippi Valley’s leading scorer after he scored 17 points in his debut for the Delta Devils.
The schools are meeting for the first time since Ole Miss coasted to a 111-82 home win on Nov. 22, 2013.
–Field Level Media