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Big first half not enough as Rebs lose to Auburn on The Plains

The 10-point halftime lead evaporated quickly.

Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

News of Deandre Burnett’s flu-like symptoms hit mere hours before tip-off between Ole Miss and Auburn Tuesday.

”I might as well start writing the recap... Auburn snaps 10-game losing streak to Ole Miss with a xx-point victory,” I snarkily texted our Red Cup staff.

Welp, looks like yaboi OMTB is again a true Nostradamus of the Ole Miss world as the Auburn Tigers snapped its 10-game losing streak to Ole Miss Tuesday with a 15-point victory at 85-70.

But the first half raised our hopes — a 10-point lead (45-35) for the Rebels behind a solid defensive effort that held the Tigers to 34 percent from the field. Ole Miss looked like it was going to outhustle Auburn to an 11th straight victory in this series.

So, admittedly, when the second half was an absolute boatrace, you probably either turned off your TV, got mad online or started searching for mid-major coaches with ridiculous winning percentages to replace Andy Kennedy.

Losing Burnett, who averages more than 14 points per game, is more than just an excuse for the loss Tuesday. It’s just an outright explanation for what transpired. His excellent free throwing shooting was sorely missed, his deep range shooting ability and veteran leadership were all elements that could have and should have made this a much closer game if not a potential win.

Additionally, the foul trouble from our thin front court was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Once Bruce Stevens reached four fouls and Marcanvis Hymon went down with an apparent knee injury, the Rebels were left with Dominic Oleniczak and Justas Furmanavicius for an extended period of time.

Dom played his best game of the season notching 10 points and 10 rebounds, but he does not have near the defensive ability of Hymon nor the overall athleticism and ability of Stevens. It would have taken an unbelievable outside shooting presence to save the Rebels.

Breein Tyree offered the most consistent offensive threat Tuesday with 24 points coupled with four assists. Our beloved Terence Davis who still has zero damns left to give scored 13 points and brought in 10 rebounds.

Ole Miss dropped to 9-7 (2-2 SEC) for the season and will face Florida on Saturday in Oxford and televised on CBS.