Ole Miss rallies behind Murrell, Ruffin for 63-55 win
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Matthew Murrell scored 21 points and Daeshun Ruffin had 17 with the two combining for 28 in the second half when Mississippi rallied to beat Temple 63-55 on Saturday.
After shooting just 27% and giving up 16 points off turnovers in the first half the Rebels (8-3) rebounded to shoot 48% in the second half and overtake the Owls.
Damian Dunn scored 16 points and Khalif Battle 15 for Temple (6-6), which shot 24% in the second half.
Ole Miss led 51-44 with five minutes to after play after two baskets each from Ruffin and Murrell and Murrell’s first 3-pointer after seven misses. Ruffin assisted on a Myles Burns dunk to make it an eight-point edge with 3:43 left.
Despite the lead, the Bulldogs gave up fouls that sent Temple to the line four times where the Owls converted seven free throws and left them trailing by three with 1:14 remaining.
The Rebels’ Jayveous McKinnis swatted a Temple shot into the face of teammate Jaemyn Brakefield that knocked Brakefield to the floor but McKinnis recovered the ball and made a free throw with 45 seconds remaining. Burns took a long inbounds pass and broke away for a layup and Murrell added four free throws from there to ice the win.
A Ruffin layup followed by his feed to Murrell for a transition dunk tied the game at 35-all with just under 14 minutes remaining and seconds later a three-point play by TJ Caldwell gave the Rebels their first lead since the opening minutes.
Zach Hicks hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 9-2 run to give Temple a five-point lead early and the Owls led by as many eight before going into halftime ahead 27-24.
Ruffin came in averaging a little over six points per game but was 5 of 10 from the field on this night with two 3-pointers while going 5 of 6 at the line. Burns grabbed 12 rebounds.
Temple was without 6-foot-11 Jamille Reynolds, who had started all 11 previous games and had been averaging 11.1 points, third on the team, and was the Owls’ leading rebounder. He had right thumb surgery Wednesday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
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