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Ole Miss holds off Dayton

Sportsnaut
Dec 15, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Kermit Davis reacts during the second half against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 15, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Kermit Davis reacts during the second half against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Daeshun Ruffin scored 19 points and Nysier Brooks added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Mississippi as the Rebels defeated Dayton, 76-68, in a nonconference game Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

Jarkel Joiner added 12 points for Ole Miss (8-3), which shot 57.1 percent overall from the floor and 58.3 percent in the second half.

Malachi Smith had 16 points and 11 assists, Toumani Camara scored 15 points and DaRon Holmes II added 14 for the Flyers (7-5), who trailed by 10 points at halftime and didn’t get closer than five in the second half.

Smith’s three-point play with 10:22 left in the game cut Dayton’s deficit to 52-47, but the Flyers never got any closer. Brooks’ dunk began a 6-0 run that ended with Ruffin’s driving layup for a 58-47 Ole Miss lead with 7:53 to go.

The Rebels extended their lead to 68-53 on Joiner’s basket with 3:32 to go before Dayton made a late rally, getting as close as 70-63 on Camara’s putback with 1:47 to go. But Kobe Elvis missed a three-point try on the Flyers’ next possession, which could have cut the deficit to four.

Dayton actually shot 9-for-18 from the floor in the first half, yet found itself trailing 34-24 at halftime. The Flyers got a limited number of shot attempts, not only because of their deliberate style, but because they committed 12 turnovers. They finished with 19 miscues.

Ole Miss opened the game with a 15-4 run in the first 6:20, capped by Brooks’ dunk off an alley-oop pass from Ruffin, who was playing in his second game since returning from a fractured hand suffered in the season opener.

After Joiner drove the lane for a dunk to give Ole Miss a 41-33 lead with 15:48 left in the contest, Elvis drained a three-pointer from the right corner to cut Dayton’s deficit to 41-36. But a tip-in by Jaemyn Brakefield put the Rebels up by seven.

After a fast-break layup by Smith, the Flyers applied full-court pressure. However, Ole Miss broke it and Ruffin scored on a layup for a 45-38 advantage.

–Field Level Media