Ole Miss Falls to Western Kentucky, 71-48
Published 11:51 am Monday, December 13, 2021
ATLANTA – Ole Miss men’s basketball could do little to slow down a potent Western Kentucky offensive and defensive effort, falling to the Hilltoppers, 71-48, in the finale of the Holiday Hoopsgiving event held at State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Saturday night.
The Rebels (6-3) shot just 27 percent while the Hilltoppers (6-4) shot 51 percent, won the rebounding battle by 12 and added to their status as one of the nation’s top shot-blocking units with eight rejections on Saturday night – an Ole Miss opponent season high. WKU entered the night ranked 10th in the NCAA at 6.3 blocks per game.
An 18-2 first half run by the Hilltoppers created separation early and held the Rebels at bay for the remainder of the game, putting Ole Miss down 34-19 at the half before ultimately falling by a final of 71-48. Leading the way for WKU was 7-foot-5 junior Jamarion Sharp, who ended the night with 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and six blocks. Sharp entered the night ranked second in the NCAA in blocks per game at 4.7.
Ole Miss heated up a bit shooting the ball in the back half, hitting six of their seven threes in the final 20 minutes of action. Jarkel Joiner led the Rebels with 13 points and a trio of three-pointers, his 13th straight game in double-digit scoring and his 15th of his last 16 dating back to last season. Also hitting double digits was Nysier Brooks, who ended the night with 10 points and six rebounds, while senior and Georgia native Tye Fagan had a solid evening with nine points, five boards and two assists.
Ole Miss returns home for the first of a four-game homestand, hosting Middle Tennessee next Wednesday (Dec. 15), with tipoff slated for 6:30 p.m. CT at SJB Pavilion and on SEC Network+.