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Nov 10, 2022 12:48 pm

Ole Miss braces for stern test from FAU

Mississippi didn’t have an easy time winning its season opener, and it could face another stiff test in its next matchup.

Looking to start 2-0 for a fourth consecutive season, the Rebels host an experienced Florida Atlantic squad on Friday night in Oxford, Miss.

Ole Miss led Alcorn State by a single point at halftime on Monday night. But, despite shooting 37.3 percent overall and committing 16 turnovers, the Rebels earned a 73-58 victory.

“To be 1-0 is a great start,” said Mississippi coach Kermit Davis, whose group held the Braves to 36.8 percent shooting and outrebounded them 45-33.

“There’s a lot of things we can grow into.”

Last season’s leading scorer Matthew Murrell made five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, and Robert Allen scored 15 in his first regular-season game since tearing his ACL. They were just two of nine players to log 12 or more minutes for Ole Miss.

“We have the depth. We can keep getting fresh guys in,” Davis added.

That could come in handy against FAU (1-0), which returns its top six scorers from last season’s 19-15 team that earned a spot in the CBI Tourney field.

The Rebels likely need to shoot better after the Owls held Lynn to a 15-of-52 shooting performance from the floor during their 81-46 season-opening rout on Monday.

Johnell Davis had 15 points and Nicholas Boyd and Jalen Gaffney added 10 apiece for FAU, which shot 50.8 percent from the field, made 10 3-pointers and held a 50-28 advantage on the glass to avoid losing its third consecutive season opener.

“Our team spirit and competitive nature were great, which is very important,” Florida Atlantic coach Dusty May said.

That all potentially poses a serious challenge to Ole Miss, even if FAU has lost five in a row versus SEC teams. Since the start of the 1993-94 season, the Owls are 1-14 against the SEC.

–Field Level Media

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