Missouri it is.
The Rebels’ first-round SEC tournament matchup is finalized, and it’s Missouri as expected. Missouri wasn’t great in true road games this year, but its 62-50 SEC tourney win over Texas A&M was its fourth on a neutral floor.
Here’s a look at this season’s games between Missouri and Ole Miss.
Ole Miss 64, Missouri 49
Missouri was ranked No. 10 at the time, and the Rebels were dominant in the second of six straight wins to open the SEC season.
It was the Tigers’ first game after forward Laurence Bowers, their leading scorer at the time, was out with a knee injury.
Ole Miss was very energetic on defense, holding Missouri to 36.8 percent shooting and forcing 19 turnovers.
Missouri was just 2-for-18 from 3-point range.
Murphy Holloway was dominant in one of his best games of the season finishing with 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals in 31 minutes. He was 8-for-12 from the floor.
Marshall Henderson was a very pedestrian 2-for-8 from 3 and finished with 11 points.
Missouri center Alex Oriakhi, who would be the dominant force in the rematch, was practically a non-fact with four points and six rebounds. He did block three shots.
Missouri 98, Ole Miss 79
Oriakhi trash-talked and did a little more than that. His tripping of Reggie Buckner led to an altercation that ended with Buckner’s ejection.
If Oriakhi got into Buckner’s head, he got all into the stat sheet as well, finishing with 22 points, 18 rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.
“He punked us down there,” Ole Miss guard Nick Williams said.
The Rebels’ senior frontcourt could not slow him down. Buckner had nine points and four rebounds, but Holloway, so effective against Missouri in Oxford, managed only one rebound.
Having tamed Holloway and Buckner, the Tigers had 50 rebounds were an incredible plus-18 on the glass.
The Rebels were competitive for a few minutes early but not for long. Missouri led by 23 points with less than 3 minutes to play.
Oriakhi had room to operate, because Mizzou’s perimeter shooting, so woeful at Ole Miss, was red hot. The Tigers were 12-for-23 from the arc with guards Phil Pressey, Keion Bell and Jabari Brown a combined 10-for-18.
Bowers did play in the rematch but wasn’t a factor, going 1-for-6 from the floor for four points.
Henderson and Jarvis Summers led Ole Miss with 16 points. Henderson was just 2-for-8 from 3 and 4-for-15 from the floor. He was 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
LaDarius White had 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting.