KJ Buffen file

KJ Buffen

Ole Miss doesn’t have an SEC loss but may feel like it after a 20-point setback at No. 24 Wichita State on Saturday.

Texas A&M does have a conference loss, falling 69-59 at Arkansas as most conference teams began league play.

SEC play begins tonight for Ole Miss (9-4) with an 8 p.m. tipoff against Texas A&M (6-6, 0-1 SEC) at Reed Arena.

The game will air on the SEC Network.

The Rebels hope for a better night on offense after hitting just 16 of 52 field goals (30.8 percent) against the Shockers – 4 for 18 from 3-point range.

Senior guard Breein Tyree, the Rebels’ leading scorer at 16.5 points a game, was just 2 for 9 from the floor.

The Aggies held Arkansas to 41.4 percent shooting at Bud Walton Arena, but allowed the Razorbacks to get off to a fast start with 54.2 percent shooting in the first half. Arkansas led by 10 in the early minutes of the second half.

In their four losses the Rebels’ best shooting night was 40 percent against Butler. They shot 39.4 percent against Memphis and 25.9 percent against Oklahoma State.

Perimeter shooting has been an issue at times, and so has consistency from one of the Rebels’ most productive early-season players.

Ole Miss had been getting close looks in the paint from sophomore forward KJ Buffen, but opponents seem to have adjusted to Buffen’s slashing moves to get open.

Buffen scored 20 points against Tennessee Tech on Dec. 29 when he hit five of eight shots from mid-range or closer.

He had just four points against Wichita State before fouling out in 20 minutes of play and has reached double figures just two times in the last seven games.

Overall, Ole Miss is seventh in the SEC in field goal percentage at 44.8. Texas A&M is last 38.7.

The Aggies, though, are holding opponents to 38.8 percent shooting, fourth in the SEC. Ole Miss is next to last in field goal defense with opponents shooting 43.0 percent.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

Twitter: @parrishalford

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