OXFORD • Breein Tyree was not the only Ole Miss player to enjoy a stellar showing in the Rebels’ 83-58 rout of rival Mississippi State.
Junior forward Khadim Sy scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds – both of which were highs in SEC play – and gave Ole Miss a physical presence down low to combat Bulldog bigs Abdul Ado and Reggie Perry.
The eight rebounds (four offensive) tied Sy’s best effort on the boards this season. The 6-foot-10 native of Senegal also recorded eight rebounds against Penn State, Arkansas and South Carolina.
“He was the No. 1 junior college big guy in the country,” said Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis. “He came in as a junior college guy and fought culture a little bit. I think ever since the Florida game there when we didn’t take him on the trip, it just seems like from that point on that he’s gotten much, much better.”
Sy’s point total was only two off his personal best set against Southeastern Louisiana on Dec. 21. He shot 7 of 12 from the field against MSU and was 4 of 6 from the free throw line before fouling out with 29 minutes remaining.
“It’s just about trusting coach and trusting the process,” Sy said. “He’s talked with me about that a lot – how I approach practice, go to school – on and off the court. After that (Florida) trip, I felt like I’d let my team down. Since then, I’m just trying to be a better person and get mature.”
Bulldogs’ point guard Nick Weatherspoon had his worst game of the season against Ole Miss.
Weatherspoon was held scoreless on 0 of 5 shooting, committed six turnovers and fouled out in 31 minutes of play. His plus-minus for the evening was negative-36.
“I thought he got sped up there in the second half with a couple of his turnovers,” said MSU coach Ben Howland.
It was the first time Weatherspoon had been shutout of the scoring column since Nov. 16, 2018, against Long Beach State when he was injured 29 seconds into the game.
Ole Miss has now won 10 of the last 13 games in the series against the Bulldogs including eight of the last nine meetings in Oxford.
The Rebels also own a 4-1 mark against State in the Pavilion, which opened in 2016.
Davis is now 2-1 against his alma mater since taking over at Ole Miss last season while Howland drops to 3-6 against the Rebels.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“Losing to your arch-rival that bad really, really stinks. Give (Ole Miss) credit. That pain that you have to deal with has to drive you to comeback and come together to give us our best effort the remainder of the way.” – Howland