OXFORD, Miss. — The Mississippi State men’s basketball team’s four-game winning streak came to an end Saturday night when the Bulldogs fell 82-72 to Ole Miss inside The Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 10-4 (1-1 SEC), while the Rebels improve to 9-5 (1-1 SEC).
MSU was missing redshirt junior forward Tolu Smith, who averages 14.2 points per game and a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game. Graduate forward Garrison Brooks, who started in Smith’s place, had 16 points and eight rebounds. while junior guard Iverson Molinar also had 16. Junior forward D.J. Jefferies added 13 points and sophomore forward Cameron Matthews finished with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting.
The Bulldogs shot 30-for-68 (44.1%) from the field and 3-for-16 (18.8%) from 3-point range, while the Rebels shot 29-for-57 (50.9%) and made 11 of their 23 (47.8%) 3s.
Ole Miss was led by sophomore guard Matthew Murrell with a career-high 31 points. He made 10 of 11 from the field and all five of his triples. Graduate center Nysier Brooks had his third double-double of the season and finished with 15 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. Freshman guard Daeshun Ruffin had 17 points, while Jaemyn Brakefield added 15.
With the score 5-2 in favor of the Bulldogs, Ole Miss went on a 15-2 run to take a 17-7 lead with 14:28 left in the first half. MSU then used a 12-2 spurt to tie things up at 19-19.
Ruffin and Murrell hit back-to-back 3s to spark a 12-2 run that gave the Rebels a 14-point lead at 41-27 with 5:07 left in the half. Murrell’s fifth 3-pointer gave Ole Miss a 50-36 lead at the halftime break.
The second half began with an MSU turnover out of bounds that led to a dunk by Brooks on the other end to give Ole Miss a 52-36 lead. The Rebels grew their lead to as many as 20 points at 59-39 with 17:12 left to play.
The Bulldogs worked to trim the deficit down to seven points at 73-66 with 4:07 left, but a jumper by Murrell and a layup by Ruffin pushed the Rebels’ lead back to 11.
MSU made it 77-70 with 1:07 to play before Ole Miss made five free throws and claimed an 82-72 win.
The Bulldogs will return to action Wednesday when they host Georgia at 6 p.m. CT.