Ole Miss, Elon both hoping for second-half improvement

NCAA Men's Basketball

Ole Miss and Elon will meet in the loser’s bracket of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic on Friday night in Charleston, S.C.

Ole Miss (2-1) suffered its first loss of the season with 78-72 setback to Marquette to open the tournament, while Elon was blown out in its opener by West Virginia 87-68 on Thursday.

After leading 36-31 at halftime, Ole Miss’ perimeter defense fell apart in the second half, which the Golden Eagles exploited by making seven of their 15 attempts from 3-point range. The Rebels also squandered numerous opportunities at the free-throw line, where the Rebels went 6-for-15.

“I thought we were the toughest team in the first 15 minutes, and they were the toughest team in the first 10 minutes of the second half once they had settled in,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “We just have to do everything better. We gotta be better on the ball, we gotta move the ball better. We have a good team that just got beat by a good team tonight.”

Ole Miss led 59-57 with eight minutes remaining before the Golden Eagles (4-0) went on a 10-1 run over the next four minutes to take a 67-60 lead after Kam Jones’ layup with a little under four minutes remaining.

Nysier Brooks had 13 points and a team-high seven rebounds, Jarkel Joiner posted 13 points and six rebounds, and Jaemyn Brakefield had 11 points and five rebounds for the Rebels.

As for Elon, West Virginia jumped to a 16-7 lead in the first four minutes and never recovered, as the Mountaineers look a 44-37 lead at halftime before pulling away in the second half. West Virginia outrebounded the Phoenix 39-33 and committed just 10 turnovers compared to Elon’s 17.

Torrence Watson scored a team-high 15 points to lead five Phoenix who scored in double figures. Hunter McIntosh scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, while Darius Burford added 12 and Hunter Woods scored 11 points that included him shooting 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Zac Ervin finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

“We just needed a better start to the second half,” Elon coach Mike Schrage said. “Our guys managed and obviously it was a seven-point game at the half. We’ll take that. We’re playing a high-level SEC team (Friday). We’re anxious again to be able to represent Elon in an event like this.”

–Field Level Media

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