OXFORD • A rivalry game can sometimes produce an unexpected star.
Ole Miss got one of those and another big game from Mr. Reliable as well and beat Mississippi State 83-58 before 8,009 fans at The Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Breein Tyree, who averaged 30.5 points for Ole Miss last week, blitzed the Bulldogs with a career-high 40 points, and the Rebels got 18 points and eight rebounds from junior center Khadim Sy. It was the first experience in the rivalry for Sy who began the night averaging 9.1 points.
MSU (15-9, 6-5 SEC) had won six of its last seven SEC games.
Ole Miss (13-11, 4-7 SEC) concluded a three-game homestand with its third-straight win, each by at least 14 points.
Sophomore forward Reggie Perry led the Bulldogs with 24 points, but MSU struggled to score against the Rebels’ 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones, and Tyree hit big shot after big shot as Ole Miss pulled away.
Tyree outscored the Bulldogs 27-24 in the second half. Ole Miss trailed 34-33 at the break and scored 50 in the second half.
Making the most of it
Ole Miss forced 17 MSU turnovers leading to 27 points.
“We didn’t handle their pressure well especially in the 1-3-1, so many turnovers leading to easy points,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “They just fed off those turnovers.”
Tyree has had big nights against the Bulldogs before as he averaged 17.7 points in his six previous games in the series.
He got off to a slow start as the Bulldogs chased him on the perimeter and took away driving lanes.
Tyree also picked up two fouls before the game was 3 minutes old, one of several Ole Miss players who would struggle with foul trouble.
The Rebels, though, began to change the tone late in the first half when Sy scored 10 in a span of 3 minutes, 19 seconds, and Ole Miss cut a 14-point deficit to one.
“The two early fouls woke me up. That got me mad, and sometimes when you play mad you play better,” Tyree said. “It’s coming down to the end of my career. I want to be remembered as one of the best guards to ever come here, and you’ve got to end right.”
Tyree scored 20 of the Rebels last 25 points, 14 of the last 17. He exited to a standing ovation with just under a minute left.
He finished 13 of 22 from the floor, 4 for 10 from 3-point range and 10 for 11 from the free throw line. He had five rebounds, four assists and one turnover. He played 35 minutes and never committed a third foul.
Tyree and Perry began the night as the third- and fourth-leading scorers in the SEC.
Ole Miss point guard Devontae Shuler had 16 points. A 3-pointer in the final second of the first half was his first bucket.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a guy like that as a guard just go get 40, not at all three levels like that,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “He scored at every level. I’ve been coaching a long time. That’s probably the best I’ve ever seen it.”