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NIT Tournament 2017: Ole Miss moves on with a 91-83 win over Monmouth

The Rebels outlast the Hawks in an offensive showcase.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri at Mississippi Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

If you woke up Tuesday morning with a craving for an entertaining basketball game taking place in a blizzard on the New Jersey coast, Ole Miss and Monmouth delivered the goods. The two teams traded made basket after made basket for the better part of 37 minutes before Ole Miss gained the slightest of upper hands late in the second half to pull away for a 91-83 win.

Led by Sebastian Saiz’s 23 points and 11 rebounds (YAWN - yet another double-double, which gives him ownership of the single-season school record with 21) and Deandre Burnett’s 15 second-half points (17 total), the Rebels scored 52 points in the final 20 minutes, while Monmouth was unable to keep pace thanks to a few spurts of defense here and there from Ole Miss. The Hawks did manage to hit 16 three-point attempts (SIXTEEN; LIKE EIGHT MORE THAN EIGHT), but the Rebels managed to negate that advantage by hitting nine threes of their own, having an 11-point advantage at the free throw line, and winning the rebound battle, 46-31.

Ole Miss also shot 52 percent from the field for 40 minutes (65 percent in the second half), which, according to Yahoo! Answers, is one of the recommended ways to win a basketball game.

Up next: probably Syracuse

The win means Ole Miss’ season is extended by at least one more game, most likely this weekend against Syracuse, who will play UNC-Greensboro on Wednesday after their game was postponed due to your standard mid-March blizzard.

Here’s a look at the Rebels’ bracket group:

CBS Sports

Click here for the full NIT bracket.

The three takeaways from tonight’s game:

LOL, 16 threes

In the first half, it didn’t really matter what defense Ole Miss was playing, Monmouth was going to make it. Justin Robinson, the Hawks’ outstanding guard, was 4-9 from three in the opening 20 minutes and seemed well on his way to roughly a billion points. While he fell somewhat short of that, he did crack the 2,000-point barrier for his career, which is quite an accomplishment.

Monmouth’s 16 threes equaled the number Illinois State hit against Ole Miss in the Rebels’ last NIT game in 2012. For Ole Miss’ next NIT game, I would enjoy a break from a team that makes 16 three-pointers. Maybe something like 10. That would be fine.

It was a great offensive night from just about everyone

I know, shocking that when you shoot 52 percent from the floor, everyone’s shooting stats look pretty good. Save for Rasheed Brooks (3-for-9) and Deandre Burnett (6-for-14), everyone connected on at least half of their shots, which, again, is a good way to win games.

Though dominated by Sebastian Saiz’s stats, the Ole Miss front court combined to go 10-for-15 from the floor and grabbed 20 rebounds, as well as made 12-for-14 free throw attempts. However, Justas Furmanavicius and Marcanvis Hymon are role players and they played those roles fairly well tonight. That will be needed again in the next round.

What does this mean big picture

Well, first of all, Andy Kennedy has proven th...nah, let’s do this instead.