The Ole Miss men’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead against No. 17 Tennessee in the second round of the SEC Tournament, but it wasn’t enough as the Volunteers pulled away for a 70-55 win.
The Rebels, coming off an opening round win over South Carolina, were leading 25-19 with 9:37 left in the first half when the Volunteers began to show why they have been a top 25 team all season. Rallying around Josiah-Jordan James, Tennessee took a six-point lead into halftime.
The Volunteers started to pull away in the second half, taking a 64-50 lead with 7:39 remaining in the game. The Rebels would near no closer than nine points for the remainder of the game. However, interim head coach Win Case was pleased with his team’s performance.
“I’m very proud of our team and how hard they fought,” Case said. “We held Tennessee to 31 points in the second half, but we just couldn’t score, especially in the second half. I thought that was a big key.”
Leading the way for the Rebels was Myles Burns (14 points, three steals) as well as Jaemyn Brakefield (12 points) and Matthew Murrell (12 points). James finished with 20 points for the Volunteers.
The loss effectively ends the season for Ole Miss, who finishes the year at 12-21. The Rebels will now turn their attention to Athletic Director Keith Carter, as the team continues to seek a replacement for former head coach Kermit Davis.