Ole Miss takes over down stretch, knocks off Vanderbilt

Matthew Murrell scored 18 of his 24 points in a near-perfect first half as Ole Miss knocked off visiting Vanderbilt 69-56 in an SEC game Saturday at Oxford, Miss.

Ole Miss had just eight turnovers and held a 42-33 rebounding advantage. Allen Flanigan added 16 points, five rebounds and eight assists while Jamal Murray scored 12 points and added five rebounds for the Rebels (15-1, 2-1 SEC).

The Rebels went 10 of 25 (40.0 percent) from 3-point range and locked down the victory by holding Vanderbilt to one point over the final 4:50.

Flanigan hit a pair of free throws with 4:32 left, putting Ole Miss up 67-55 and the Rebels cruised from there.

Tyrin Lawrence scored 14 points, Ezra Manjon added 11 and Jason Rivera-Torres had 12 for the Commodores (5-11, 0-3).

Vanderbilt lost its third consecutive game and fell for the 10th in its last 12 contests. The Commodores held a brief one-point lead in the first half but otherwise trailed from start to finish.

Ole Miss, on the strength of Murrell’s 18 first-half points on 7-of-8 shooting, had a 41-32 lead at the break.

Flanigan hit a mid-range jumper with 13:19 left, giving the Rebels a 53-39 lead.

Vanderbilt inched within three at 55-52 with 8:17 left but again, Murrell and Jamal Murray hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to give Ole Miss a 61-52 lead with 7:16 left.

Vanderbilt trailed early from the game’s first basket, but Rivera-Torres drilled a 3-pointer to put the Commodores up for the first time 23-22 with 6:02 left in the half.

The Rebels took advantage of the gaps in Vanderbilt’s zone with Murrell hitting a pair of 3-pointers in a sequence that put Ole Miss up by 10 before Rivera-Torres spotted up and drilled another 3-pointer.

Murrell again got another wide-open look in transition, drilling his fourth 3-pointer of the period for a 41-31 Rebels advantage.