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Ole Miss basketball gets 67-56 win over Kansas State in SEC/Big 12 challenge

Turns out bottom tier SEC > bottom tier Big 12.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 24 Florida at Ole Miss Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ole Miss was surprisingly dominating against Kansas State on Saturday, winning the basement version of the SEC/Big 12 challenge 67-56 at the SJB Pavilion.

This serves as the program’s first win ever in the SEC/Big 12 challenge.

Daeshun Ruffin was a crucial force against the Wildcats dropping 17 points and bringing in seven rebounds, including 13 of his 17 points coming in the second half. The true freshman has wasted no time earning his time on the court and continues to show fans how important he is to the trajectory of the program.

Matthew Murrell also brought in seven rebounds of his own, as well as nine points and two assists.

“We knew [Kansas State] would shoot a lot of threes,” Davis said. “For the two starting guards to get 14 [rebounds], that was really big for us.”

The Rebels have struggled both offensively and defensively this season but looked like a complete team against Kansas State.

With tournament hopes basically unattainable at this point, a large focus can be placed on what the team will look like next year. Tonight, Ole Miss fans were able to get a better look at freshman Eric Van Der Heijden. He has made appearances recently in a few games but played a career-high 11 minutes on Saturday. Van Der Heijden took over Sammy Hunter’s spot for a large chunk of the game, adding three points with an assist and a rebound for the Rebs.

During the middle of the game, news broke that transfer quarterback Jaxson Dart and Michael Trigg were heading to Oxford. It was already exciting, but head coach Lane Kiffin decided to take it a step further by sitting courtside when it was all going down. He received the loudest cheer of the night.

The Rebels will start back SEC Play on Tuesday when they take on LSU in Baton Rouge. Tip-off will be on SEC Network at 8pm CT.