AUBURN, Ala. — Kermit Davis and Mississippi could teach a class on how to defend Auburn.
Breein Tyree scored 20 points and made two free throws with 12 seconds left to seal Mississippi’s 60-55 win over the Tigers on Wednesday night.
The Rebels (17-7, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) completed a season sweep of the onetime No. 7-ranked Tigers (16-8, 5-6), who produced their two lowest scoring totals in the meetings.
This time Ole Miss seemed to erect a brick wall around the 3-point line while managing to slow down the pace of the game.
“When you play Auburn here, you have to play different than you play at home,” said Davis, the Rebels’ first-year coach. “You’ve got to play different. I said, ‘Guys, if you’re really trying to win the game, you have to take opportunities in the break but you also have got to limit possessions.”
Ole Miss fought off Auburn’s efforts to catch up in the final minutes. The Rebels held the league’s top 3-point shooting team to just 5 of 20 from long range and 33-percent from the field.
“We got a bunch of stops early and then could not score,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said.
Devontae Shuler had 17 points for the Rebels, who produced an Auburn-like 13 3-pointers. Shuler and Tyree both made four 3s. It was Tyree’s sixth straight 20-point game.
Terence Davis had 27 points for the Rebels in the first meeting but was limited by foul trouble this time. He had eight points in 13 minutes.
Tyree more than made up for it after producing just five points the first time around.
“I just remember I was forcing a lot of my shots in the first game,” he said. “I was coming off a good game against Vanderbilt, and I was forcing it and trying to score a lot. Today I was just letting the offense come to me. That was the difference.”
Ole Miss forward Blake Hinson missed the game with a flu-like illness.
Chuma Okeke led an otherwise cold-shooting Auburn with 23 points and 11 rebounds. He made eight shots on 11 attempts while the rest of the team was 8 of 38.
“Chuma Okeke had a dominating game,” Pearl said. “We went to him as much as we possibly could.
“He clearly won his position but we lost every place else on the floor.”
Auburn’s top two players struggled.
Jared Harper had 10 points on 1-of-8 shooting and committed six turnovers. Bryce Brown made just 2 of 12 shots for eight points.
Ole Miss had two missed free throws, a traveling call and a shot clock violation in the final 2:09 but Auburn couldn’t capitalize.
The Rebels won the first meeting 82-67 over then-No. 11 Auburn on Jan. 9.
Mississippi: Won its third straight game with another strong defensive performance. Has allowed 64 (against Georgia) and 55 points in its past two outings.
Auburn: Could never get its two biggest stars, Harper and Brown, going. The Tigers have dropped two straight but are 12-2 at Auburn Arena.
The teams were a combined 5-of-28 shooting over the first 9-1/2 minutes and Auburn didn’t score until nearly five minutes into the game. The Tigers missed their first five attempts before Horace Spencer’s short jumper at the 15:07 mark.
Mississippi hosts Missouri on Saturday.
Auburn visits Vanderbilt on Saturday.
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