OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Breein Tyree turned in a performance that prompted Mississippi coach Kermit Davis to admit, “The best I’ve ever seen by one of my players and I’ve been coaching a long time.”
Tyree scored a career-high 40 points, 27 in the second half, while adding five rebounds and four assists as the Rebels defeated Mississippi State 86-58, stretching its winning streak to three games.
“I was pretty locked in during the second half and it was one of my best games,” Tyree said. “We’re still trying to get to postseason and we’re waking up a lot of people that had counted us out. Did I know I was closing in on 40? Yeah, I knew.”
Tyree finished 13 of 22 from the field, 4 of 10 from 3-point range and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line. Ole Miss outscored the Bulldogs 70-32 after the opening 13 minutes, 50-24 in the second half.
Khadim Sy scored 18 points with a team-high eight rebounds for Ole Miss (13-11, 4-7 Southeastern Conference). Devontae Shuler, scoreless in the opening 19 minutes, added 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.
“Breein can score at every level and he’s playing down hill. He’s got great bounce and can finish,” Davis said. “He’s playing as well as any guard in the country, plus Sy had an outstanding performance. Devontae was good. This is a big win.”
Reggie Perry led Mississippi State (15-9, 6-5) with 22 points and a team-high eight rebounds. D.J. Stewart Jr. and Robert Woodard II added 16 and 12 points, respectively. The Bulldogs struggled from the field, 18 of 49 (36%), which included an 8 of 15 performance from Perry.
Ole Miss shot 28 of 58 (48%) from the field, 23 of 41 during the 70-32 blowout over the final 27 minutes. The Rebels were 8 of 20 (40%) from the 3-point line, 19 of 24 (79%) from the free-throw line. The Rebels outscored Mississippi 27-11 off turnovers, forcing 17.
“Obviously, that’s the first time all year that a team has beat us like that,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. “We just didn’t handle their pressure well. They had 27 points off turnovers and we lose by 25 and so many of the turnovers led to easy baskets.”
Mississippi State: This was a bad loss for the Bulldogs in the drive toward an NCAA Tournament berth. The Bulldogs had won six of the previous eight and raced to a 26-13 lead in the opening 13 minutes before the wheels came off. Perry had a brilliant individual performance, but there were few other positives for the Bulldogs.
Ole Miss: The Rebels completed a 3-0 home stand, all double-digit wins, to move into an SEC standings logjam that includes nine teams within three losses of each other. In a series marked by periods of domination by each team, the Rebels have won 10 of the last 13 matches with Mississippi State. Tyree outscored the Mississippi State team in the second half 27-24.
Mississippi State: Visits Arkansas on Saturday. The Bulldogs play four of the next six games on the road.
“How we respond to this (loss) is everything,” Howland said.
Ole Miss: Visits No. 12 Kentucky on Saturday to open a two-game road trip.