Ole Miss basketball was led by two transfers into the program, but the new talent wasn’t enough against a young and determined Marquette as the Rebels fell 78-72 on Thursday.
Nysier Brooks notched 13 points as the seven foot center transfer from Miami shot six of seven from the field and hauled in seven rebounds on the night. Duke transfer Jaemyn Brakefield tossed in 11 points and five rebounds in a solid outing for the sophomore forward.
Brooks and Rebel senior Jarkel Joiner co-led the team in scoring for the game, but Joiner was not accurate, shooting four of 13 from the field including a late miss from just a few feet that would have cut a Golden Eagle to only two points with 11 seconds to play.
Ole Miss (2-1) led Marquette (4-0) by double digits at times in the first half only to have its lead edged away by the start of the second half. It is easy to look at free throws as a huge culprit to Thursday’s loss as the Rebels shot six of 15 from the charity stripe while Marquette made 17 of 19 respectively.
The Rebels will fall to the loser’s bracket of the Shiner’s Children Charleston Classic and face the loser of the Elon/West Virginia game, which at the time of publication looks to be Elon. It will be a bounce back opportunity at a neutral site, but it cannot be missed that Thursday’s loss is a missed chance for a quality win to begin building an NCAA Tournament resume.
The Cup will have more in-depth coverage of the six-point loss to Marquette tomorrow. If you’ve got some anger to let out in the comments, fire away.