Bailey scores 21, No. 25 Tennessee beats Vanderbilt 70-58

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Victor Bailey Jr. made 5-of-8 3-pointers and finished with 21 points as No. 25 Tennessee beat in-state rival Vanderbilt 70-58 Wednesday night to sweep the season series.

Tennessee (16-6, 9-6 Southeastern Conference) won its eight straight in the series and 10th in the last 11 games between the teams.

Jaden Springer added 20 points for the Vols, and Yves Pons had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Vanderbilt (6-13, 2-11) lost its third straight with Scotty Pippen Jr., the SEC’s second-leading scorer averaging 20.5 points a game sidelined by injury along with Dylan Disu, named the SEC player of the week after putting up back-to-back double-doubles last week. Clevon Brown also missed a second straight game.

Trey Thomas led Vanderbilt with 14 points. Maxwell Evans had 13, Isaac McBride 11.

The Vols lost to Kentucky last weekend, dropping them to their lowest ranking this season.

The teams swapped spurts and the lead in the first half, but Tennessee took control for good by finishing on a 15-2 run capped by Olivier Nkamhoua’s layup with 1:04 left for a 32-22 halftime lead.

Tennessee led by as much as 17 on a 3-pointer by Bailey with 16:58 remaining. Vanderbilt kept shooting from outside the arc, making eight 3s in the half and pulled within 56-52 with 4:27 left on a dunk by Maxwell Evans.

But Evans missed the free throw after being fouled, and Jordan Wright missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

Keon Johnson answered with two free throws and a dunk for Tennessee, then fellow freshman Springer scored on a layup, hit two free throws and added another layup to seal the victory.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: The Volunteers needed a big win with Auburn on Saturday their last scheduled game of the regular season. They came in fifth in the SEC standings trying to climb higher to avoid playing on Thursday of the conference tournament in two weeks in Nashville.

Vanderbilt: Coach Jerry Stackhouse used his 13th different starting lineup this season in this game. Pippen had been the only Commodore to start every game this season before Wednesday night and snapped a 32-game starting streak.

OUTSIDE SHOOTING

Vanderbilt stayed in this game by shooting well from 3. The Commodores came in second in the SEC making 9.2 3s a game, and they went 13-of-33 from 3. But they were 3-of-6 at the free throw line compared to 18-of-22 for the Vols.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: At Auburn on Saturday.

Vanderbilt: Hosts Ole Miss on Saturday for the Commodores’ final home game this season.

Shuler leads Ole Miss past No. 24 Missouri 60-53

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Devontae Shuler scored 14 points and Mississippi beat No. 24 Missouri 60-53 on Tuesday night to sweep the season series against the sputtering Tigers.

Romello White, Luis Rodriguez and Jarkel Joiner added 10 points apiece for Ole Miss (13-9, 8-7 Southeastern Conference), which beat then-No. 10 Missouri 80-59 earlier this month.

Joiner hit six free throws in the final 46 seconds to seal the rematch as the Rebels held off the Tigers’ second-half charge.

“It was a good way for us to win it,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “It’s great to get Jarkel the ball. He and Devontae Shuler are our very best free-throw shooters. … He just stepped up there and (hit) key free throws, one after the other.”

Kobe Brown led Missouri (14-7, 7-7) with 12 points while Mark Smith added 11. Jeremiah Tilmon had 10 points and 10 rebounds, his seventh double-double of the season.

Ole Miss led by nine points at halftime and pushed ahead by as many as 13 early in the second half. But Missouri went on a 15-2 second-half run while the Rebels endured a brutal 8:26 stretch without a field goal, pushing the Tigers ahead 43-41 for their first lead with 9:25 left.

Neither team led by more than a possession from there until Shuler and KJ Buffen hit consecutive buckets to give Ole Miss a four-point lead with 1:18 to go. The Rebels closed out the game with a 10-3 run.

“I think more than anything, it was getting stops,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said of his team’s struggles in the closing stretch. “Of course, make baskets, and then you try to get stops. … It was a four-point swing, and then it kind of went from there. But of course, it’d be getting stops, then making baskets.”

Ole Miss shot 3 for 11 from 3-point range (27%), its third consecutive game of 30% or worse from beyond the arc. But the Rebels were helped by getting 14 second-chance points off 15 offensive rebounds.

Ole Miss also effectively contained Missouri guards Dru Smith, who was held to nine points, and Xavier Pinson, who matched a season low with two points.

The victory was critical for the Rebels’ NCAA Tournament hopes.

“That was huge for us,” White said. “I was locked in. I had great sleep, just prepared myself to have a good game today. I knew how big this game was, I just knew my team was together.”

SURE-HANDED SHULER

Shuler is becoming one of the SEC’s most consistent players. After a four-point outing against Mississippi State last weekend ended a streak of 10 games in double figures, the senior returned to form.

MISSISSIPPI BLUES

Missouri has lost five straight games to teams from Mississippi dating back to last season. The Tigers’ last victory over a team from the state was against Ole Miss on Feb. 18, 2020.

BIG PICTURE

Ole Miss: The Rebels have won five of six, their best stretch since starting the season 5-1. That run has included three wins against AP Top 25 teams – on Feb. 2 against Tennessee and twice against Missouri.

Missouri: Has lost four of its last five games as its NCAA Tournament stock continues to drop, with each of those losses to unranked foes. The Tigers’ 53 points tied a season low, and they shot 35% from the field, their second-worst performance of the year.

UP NEXT

Ole Miss: At Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Missouri: Hosts Texas A&M on Saturday.

Wells, No. 5 Texas A&M pull away from Ole Miss, 66-55

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
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OXFORD, Miss. — The Texas A&M Aggies took over the game when they had to.

Kayla Wells had 18 points and eight rebounds and No. 5 Texas A&M rode a dominant fourth quarter to a 66-55 victory over Mississippi on Sunday.

The Aggies (20-1, 11-1 Southeastern Conference) won their eighth straight game, but the Rebels (9-9, 3-11) kept it competitive into the fourth, trailing just 44-39. Then it was all Texas A&M.

“I just feel like we really know how to finish the game now,” Wells said. “We’ve done it time after time. And it’s almost like something that we have to do. It’s almost mandatory.”

Already off to the program’s best start through 20 games, the Aggies secured their 16th consecutive season with at least 20 wins.

Wells only shot 5 of 16 from the floor but made 7 of 8 free throws. Aaliyah Wilson had a huge all-around game. Wilson had 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals.

Jordan Nixon scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter when Texas A&M led by as many as 15.

Ciera Johnson only scored five points but the last one hit the career 1,000-point milestone.

Shakira Austin got her fifth straight double double to lead Ole Miss, the first Rebels player to do that in SEC games since Armintie Price in 2007. She had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Taylor Smith had 12 points on 3-of-6 3-pointers. The rest of the team made 1 of 9 attempts from 3-point range. Madison Scott finished with 10 points.

Zaay Green and Jordan Nixon helped turn it into a comfortable win.

Green hit the Aggies’ first three baskets of the fourth – and her first three in the game.

“She hadn’t forgotten how to play ball,” Blair said. “She just needed more opportunities. But as well as Wilson and (Destiny) Pitts and Wells have been playing, sometimes you’ve got to earn those opportunities or wait for those opportunities.

“She knew exactly what to do when she came into the ball game.”

Then Nixon hit three straight layups and a free throw in a quick nine-point Texas A&M flurry, over a span of just 1:49.

Johnson’s putback with 2 seconds left in the third quarter gave Texas A&M a 44-39 lead after the Rebels had erased most of a 10-point deficit.

The momentum carried over into the fourth.

“There was a stretch where A&M showed their maturity in the fourth quarter and just pulled away from us,” Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin said. “And we didn’t answer the call.”

BIG PICTURE

Texas A&M: Had to rebound from a slow start after missing all five 3-point attempts and four of six free throw attempts in the opening quarter. The defense remained strong, helping the Aggies build a 26-23 halftime edge. Ole Miss: Made just 5 of 14 shots in the fourth quarter, but showed plenty of resilience until then. Won the rebounding battle 43-34.

RARE ROAD TRIP

It was Texas A&M’s first road game since a visit to Auburn on Jan. 28.

“It definitely felt different,” Wells said. “It’s been a really long time since we’ve been on a plane or been on a bus on the way to some place. ”

UP NEXT

Texas A&M visits Alabama on Thursday night, before closing the regular season against No. 2 South Carolina.

Ole Miss faces another top 5 team, visiting South Carolina on Thursday night.

Dungee scores 38, No. 18 Arkansas women beat Ole Miss 84-74

Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Chelsea Dungee scored a season-high 38 points, Amber Ramirez added 19 and No. 18 Arkansas beat Mississippi 84-74 on Friday night.

Dungee, whose career high is 41 points, made 11 of 22 from the field and 14 of 17 from the free-throw line. Ramirez was 7-of-12 shooting and had three steals.

Ole Miss scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to trim its deficit to 64-60 with 7:42 remaining, but Dungee answered with a pair of free throws to spark a 10-1 run over the next three minutes and the Rebels got no closer.

Shakira Austin had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Madison Scott added 17 and 10 for Ole Miss (9-8, 3-8 SEC). Mimi Reid scored 16 points.

Arkansas (16-7, 6-6) shot 56% from the field and made 25 of 33 foul shots.

Ole Miss outrebounded the Razorbacks 39-24, including 16-2 on the offensive glass, and outscored Arkansas 24-3 in second-chance points.

The game was originally scheduled for Thursday before being postponed until Friday due to icy weather in the region.

Joiner helps Mississippi beat No. 10 Missouri 80-59

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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OXFORD, Miss. — The recent mastery of ranked teams continued Wednesday night for Mississippi as Jarkel Joiner scored 21 points as the Rebels beat No. 10 Missouri 80-59.

Ole Miss (11-8, 6-6 Southeastern) stretched their win streak to three games, including a win over No.16 Tennessee and the No. 10 Tigers. The surge left the Rebels in the middle of a logjam of the SEC standings, with eight teams within three games of each other.

“Having success gave us confidence,” Mississippi coach Kermit Davis said. “We didn’t give up baskets in transition and did a good job staying in front of them. You can’t let Missouri play downhill.”

Devontae Shuler and Luis Rodriguez added 15 points apiece for the Rebels (11-8, 6-6 Southeastern), extended their winning streak to three games that includes wins over No. 16 Tennessee and the No. 10 Tigers.

Ole Miss used a 17-2 run that spanned the final two minutes of the first half and the opening three minutes of the second half to build an insurmountable 51-37 lead. The Rebels led by as many as 22 points midway in the second half as Missouri never seriously threatened again.

“That (17-2 run) was the critical part,” Davis said. “It’s a coach’s cliche but it’s true how you finish and how you start. We got out in transition, got our hands on the ball and made some good plays. It was great to see.”

Dru Smith led Missouri (13-4, 6-4) with 17 points as the loss snapped a three-game winning streak. Javon Pickett added 10 points as the Tigers struggled at the free throw line, shooting 5 of 15 (33 percent) and were outrebounded 34-19.

“We just didn’t have the edge we normally have,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I don’t know where to start. We didn’t have it tonight and give those guys credit.”

Ole Miss finished 29 of 51 (57 percent) from the field and 8 of 21 (38 percent) from three-point range, including five by Shuler. The Rebels were 14 of 17 from the free throw line (82 percent) and had 21 assists for 29 baskets, including four apiece from KJ Buffen and Robert Allen.

BIG PICTURE

Missouri: After winning six of the last seven starts, a road upset to suddenly streaking Ole Miss was disappointing, but not totally unexpected. The Tigers managed only three field goals in the opening eight minutes of the second half, effectively ending any comeback bid.

Ole Miss: Flying under the radar, the Rebels have quietly won three consecutive starts and moved into the upper half of the SEC standings, but play three of the next four games on the road, which figure to determine any postseason hopes.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

After climbing into the Top 10 for the first time in more than eight seasons, the upset loss virtually guarantees a drop from that height. However, a Saturday home win over Arkansas would go a long way in keeping the Tigers among the Top 25.

UP NEXT

Missouri: The Tigers host Arkansas on Saturday. Missouri defeated the Razorbacks 81-69 on Jan. 2.

Ole Miss: The Rebels visit South Carolina on Saturday.

Dungee, Slocum help No. 16 Arkansas women edge Ole Miss

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Chelsea Dungee scored 27 points, Destiny Slocum added 22 with 10 assists and No. 16 Arkansas turned back Missouri 85-80 on Thursday night after blowing an 18-point third-quarter lead.

A 14-0 run had Arkansas on top 61-43 before the Tigers began to claw back. Trailing by 12 entering the fourth quarter, Missouri scored the first 10, highlighted by Lauren Hansen’s 3-pointer to start it and Shannon Dufficy’s three-point play to end it.

A few minutes later the Tigers scored six straight, taking a 76-75 lead when Haley Frank made a pair of free throws. But Dungee quickly answered with two free throws and a jumper for a 79-76 lead. After a basket by Frank, Slocum hit a 3-pointer to put Arkansas up 82-78 with 35 seconds to go.

Dungee iced it with two free throws with six seconds to play. Dungee and Slocum combined for 14 of 15 Razorbacks points in the fourth quarter.

Amber Ramirez added 17 points in the third-straight win for Arkansas (14-6, 4-5 Southeastern Conference), making 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Slocum was 6 of 8 behind the arc as the Razorbacks went 14 of 26 (54%) from distance. They shot 52% (30 of 58 overall).

Hansen had four 3s and 19 points for Mizzou (6-7, 2-6) and Aijha Blackwell added 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Arkansas only had four turnovers and turned 12 Missouri turnovers into 18 points. However, the Tigers won the boards 40-24 and with 11 offensive rebounds had a 17-0 advantage in second-chance points.

The Razorbacks, who have had no disruption to their schedule all season, play at No. 7 Texas A&M on Sunday. The Aggies were originally scheduled to face No. 18 Tennessee but the Lady Vols had to postpone two games due to COVID-19 issues in the program. Missouri, which has lost two-straight to ranked teams, goes to Auburn on Sunday.