Hin­son leads Ole Miss over 14th-ranked Mis­sis­sippi St.

The Sun Herald (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY DAVID BRANDT

Blake Hin­son strolled onto his ri­val’s home court, hit a few huge 3-point­ers, scored a ca­reer­high 26 points and looked like he had the time of his life do­ing it.

If the Mis­sis­sippi fresh­man had any nerves in a big SEC road game, he sure didn’t show it.

Hin­son poured in bas­ket after bas­ket, Breein Tyree added 19 points and Ole Miss ral­lied for an 81-77 win over No. 14 Mis­sis­sippi State on Satur­day. With a wide grin and re­laxed de­mea- nor, Hin­son acted like the break­out per­for­mance was some­thing he does ev­ery day.

“It was su­per fun,” Hin­son said. “I love bas­ket­ball, and this was a great bas­ket­ball at­mos­phere. I was lov­ing ev­ery part of it.”

Ole Miss (13-2, 3-0 SEC) won its 10th straight, con­tin­u­ing its sur­pris­ing run of great bas­ket­ball un­der first-year coach Ker­mit Davis.

Mis­sis­sippi State (12-3, 0-2) had a two-point lead at half­time and stretched that ad­van­tage to 48-39 in the open­ing min­utes of the sec­ond half. But the Rebels wouldn’t go away – Hin­son hit

three straight 3-point­ers at one point – and Ole Miss pulled ahead 70-62 with seven min­utes left.

“We did ob­vi­ously a hor­ri­ble job on Blake Hin­son,” Mis­sis­sippi State coach Ben How­land said. “We knew what he was. He’s a 3-point shooter. He re­ally got go­ing.”

The Bull­dogs would rally, and Nick Weather­spoon hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 left to tie it at 77. The Rebels fi­nally went ahead for good when Tyree made a driv­ing layup with about 50 sec­onds left, qui­et­ing a Humphrey Coli­seum crowd that topped 10,000.

The 6-foot-7 Hin­son made 8 of 16 shots, in­clud­ing 5 of 11 from 3point range. Ter­ence Davis added 12 points. Tyree had a good game – and hit some clutch shots in the fi­nal min­utes – de­spite a left shoul­der in­jury early in the con­test that kept him off the court for a few min­utes.

“In a game like that,” Tyree said. “Adren­a­line takes over. While I was on the court, no pain.”

Mis­sis­sippi State used a 14-0 run mid­way through the first half to take a

32-21 lead, but Ole Miss closed the gap to 41-39 by half­time. Quin­ndary Weather­spoon had 11 points in the first half for the Bull­dogs. Hin­son and Devon­tae Shuler both scored 10 for the Rebels.

Mis­sis­sippi State was led by Quin­ndary Weather­spoon’s 18 points. Lamar Peters added 16.

TECH­NI­CAL FRENZY

It was a rowdy at­mos­phere at Humphrey Coli­seum for one of the best games be­tween these ri­vals in a decade. That pas­sion some­times turned into shenani­gans – Ole Miss earned three tech­ni­cal fouls while Mis- sis­sippi State had one.

Ker­mit Davis had a lot of good things to say about his team after Satur­day’s win, but he wasn’t happy with that de­vel­op­ment.

“We de­served it,” Davis said. “I apol­o­gize. I haven’t had player tech­ni­cals in a long, long, long time. … You’ve got to com­pose your­self. That’s on me. We’ll get that one fixed.”

KER­MIT IN STARKVILLE

Davis knows Starkville quite well. He grew up in the town, where his dad was the head coach of the Bull­dogs in the 1970s. Davis also played for the Bull­dogs in the early 1980s.

“Some things run through your mind as a kid who grew up in this build­ing,” Davis said. “It was a lit­tle strange early, but when the ball tips, you’re just coach­ing like mad for your play­ers.”

BIG PIC­TURE

Ole Miss: The Rebels were picked to fin­ish last in the SEC this sea­son, but that looks very un­likely at this point. Hin­son picked a great time to have a big game, and the rest of the Rebels were tough in a very loud road en­vi­ron­ment.

Mis­sis­sippi State: It’s an­other tough loss for the Bull­dogs, who looked great dur­ing non­con­fer­ence play but have dropped two straight in the league. Mis­sis­sippi State has to get its de­fense back in or­der if it’s go­ing to be a fac­tor in the SEC race.

‘‘ I LOVE BAS­KET­BALL, AND THIS WAS A GREAT BAS­KET­BALL AT­MOS­PHERE.

Ole Miss guard/for­ward Blake Hin­son

UP NEXT

Ole Miss re­turns home to face LSU while Mis­sis­sippi State hosts Flor­ida on Tues­day.

ROGELIO V. SO­LIS AP

Ole Miss guard Blake Hin­son, right, re­cov­ers a loose ball against Mis­sis­sippi State for­ward Reg­gie Perry dur­ing Satur­day’s game in Starkville. Hin­son made 8 of 16 shots, in­clud­ing 5 of 11 3-point­ers.

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