OXFORD, Miss. -- A balanced offense led to a record-breaking night and a win for the Ole Miss men's basketball team Wednesday. Shooting 61.1 percent (33 of 54) from the field, the best by any team in the short history of The Pavilion, the Rebels (4-2) had five players score double digits in a 93-86 victory over a solid San Diego squad.
Breein Tyree continued his strong play as of late, tallying a team-high 22 points on 6 of 7 shooting and a perfect 8 for 8 at the charity stripe. Terence Davis was back to his normal self by adding 20 points to go along with a career-high nine assists. Freshmen KJ Buffen and Blake Hinson had their biggest games as young Rebels, both recording career highs of 15 points apiece. Coming off a career-high game of his own in the Emerald Coast Classic, sophomore guard Devontae Shuler had 13 points.
Along with balanced scoring, the Rebels found success at the free throw line by shooting 87.0 percent (20 of 23). Ole Miss also grew its lead in the second half by limiting Isaiah Pineiro to four points over the final 20 minutes. The Toreros (5-2) were led by the trio of Isaiah Wright (22 points), Pineiro (21 points) and Olin Carter III (19 points).
Coming off an Emerald Coast Classic in which he averaged 21.0 ppg, Tyree led the Rebels early in the contest with seven of their first 15 points. Ole Miss held a 13-12 lead before a Tyree bucket sparked a 7-0 run over the next minute, giving the home team a 20-12 advantage. However, the Toreros matched that run in the same time span to get it back to a one-point game.
Ahead 27-24, Ole Miss scored on three straight possessions to push the lead to double digits. Shuler started the scoring barrage by sneaking around the opposite block for an offensive rebound and putback. The next time down the floor, Terence Davis grabbed a board and took the ball coast-to-coast before finishing with a tough floater. San Diego tried to stop the bleeding by calling timeout, but Shuler drilled a three out of the break to make it 34-24 with 4:40 left in the first half.
San Diego once again answered with a 10-0 run to tie the game. Following a Buffen layup, the Toreros took the lead thanks to an old-fashioned three-point play. However, Tyree nailed a three-pointer for the final points of the half, and the Rebels took a 39-37 advantage into the locker room.
The opening 20 minutes were pretty even. Each team scored 20 points in the paint and knocked down a trio of three-pointers. Two more made free throws by the Rebels proved to be the difference. Ole Miss shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) in the first half behind 10 points from Tyree. Meanwhile, Pineiro scored 17 points to lead the Toreros.
Head coach Kermit Davis elected to put the Rebels in the 1-3-1 zone to begin the second half. The move forced several San Diego turnovers and allowed Ole Miss to push its lead to eight. The Toreros sliced their deficit in half before the Rebels went on a 10-0 run led by a pair of freshmen. Buffen used an offensive rebound for a pair of second chance points, and Hinson followed with a corner three. After another stop of the defensive end of the floor, Buffen made his first three of the season.
Bruce Stevens added a jumper in the paint to put the Rebels up 68-54 with 8:33 to go in the contest. Once again, San Diego cut the margin in half but it didn't last long as the Rebels answered with a 7-0 run to grow their lead back to 14. Terence Davis connected on a three from the top of the key, and then broke away for a powerful dunk the sent the student section into a frenzy. A pair of buckets by Dominik Olejniczak sandwiched in between a San Diego basket gave Ole Miss its largest lead of the night, 79-63. The Toreros continued to battle, getting it down to as low as a six-point game, but the Rebels knocked down their free throws in the closing minutes to secure a win over a quality mid-major team.
For the first time this season, the Rebels will follow a home game with another matchup at The Pavilion. Kicking off the month of December, the Rebels welcome ULM to Oxford for a Saturday afternoon tilt with a 1 p.m. tipoff (Dec. 1). Another first will happen as Ole Miss will don new powder blue jerseys for the game. The contest will air on SEC Network+ and can be heard on the airwaves of the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
For the latest news and updates regarding Ole Miss Men's Basketball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMBB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Men's Basketball and on Instagram at olemissmbb.
• The Rebels set a Pavilion record for shooting percentage (61.1 percent), besting the previous mark of 54.1 percent set in wins over LSU (Feb. 14, 2017) and Western Michigan (Nov. 10, 2018).
• Ole Miss had five players in double figures for the first time since Dec. 19, 2017 (vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi).
• Entering the game ranked second in the SEC and 25th in the nation in free throw percentage (77.4), Ole Miss improved on its mark by making 20 of 23 (87.0 percent).
• Breein Tyree scored a team-high 22 points, reaching double figures for the 12th straight game; Tyree is averaging 21.3 ppg over the last three games.
• Freshmen KJ Buffen and Blake Hinson tallied 15 points apiece, both career highs; Buffen also added a personal-best seven rebounds.
• Terence Davis dished out a career-high nine assists and added 20 points, the 15th 20-point game of his career; with his performance, Davis passed Terrance Henry for 33rd on the Ole Miss all-time scoring list and now has 1,099 points.
• Ole Miss improved to 5-0 all-time against the West Coast Conference; it was the first meeting between the Rebels and Toreros.