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Ole Miss drops second-straight to Wichita State, 83-79

A late collapse by the good guys.

Josh McCoy-Ole Miss Athletics

You may have been tucked away with visions of bloomin’ onion dancing in your head, but Ole Miss played basketball on Saturday, dropping a game to Wichita State at home by a score of 83-79.

The Rebels were led in scoring by Devontae Shuler who dropped 20 points and a career-best six threes. K.J. Buffen (18), Luis Rodriguez (13) and Romello White (11) all reached double-digit point totals as well. White fell off huge in the second half after he scored eight of the team’s first 13 points in the game.

With roughly seven minutes remaining, Ole Miss led 69-62, but it couldn’t hold on down the stretch. The game was largely back-and-forth, but the Rebels secured a 74-73 lead off of a Shuler jumper with 3:56 left in the game before surrendering the lead with less than three left to play, a lead they never recovered.

Although Ole Miss forced 15 turnovers in The Pavilion Saturday night, the Shockers were good for a 52 field goal percentage and 45 percent from three. The Rebels, by comparison, were 41.5 percent from the field and 34.6 percent from three. Tyson Etienne led the Shockers in scoring (by a lot) with 29 points, going 8-for-15 from the field and 5-of-10 from three.

The defense was originally thought to be the strength of this team (and it still is compared to the offense), but giving up 83 points at home in a game you were favored isn’t the best look, especially coming off of a rout at the hands of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Granted, the Tide knocked off No. 7 Tennessee in Knoxville Saturday, but Ole Miss has two home games upcoming to gel and find some important conference wins.

From an analysis perspective, it’s starting to feel like this team has lost its footing, but it’s a long season. Saturday served as a reprieve from conference play, but the Rebels will be back in SEC action when they host Auburn on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.