Pinson, Smith won’t cool off as Missouri edges Ole Miss

For the second game in a row, Missouri’s Xavier Pinson and Dru Smith carried the team’s offense.

Pinson scored a career-high 32 points on 9-of-13 shooting and missed just one free throw in 11 attempts as Missouri beat Ole Miss 71-68 on Tuesday night.

Dru Smith added 17 points for the Tigers (13-13, 5-8 Southeastern Conference) going 9 for 10 from the foul line.

In Missouri’s win last Saturday over No. 11 Auburn, Pinson and Smith combined for 56 of the team’s 85 points.

Ole Miss (13-13, 4-9) led briefly midway through the first half, but Smith countered with a burst of offense, almost single-handedly putting Missouri ahead 31-27 at halftime. Smith started the game 0 for 6 but finished the half with a team-leading 10 points.

Pinson started the second half with 11 points in the first six minutes. He’s made 19 of his last 25 field goal attempts.

Both teams led for portions of the second half leading up to a tie at 63 with less than two minutes remaining. Pinson and Smith hit eight key free throws, and the Tigers’ defense held the Rebels to just five points.

Breein Tyree led the Rebels with 29 points and Khadim Sy scored 14 with seven rebounds.

Ole Miss guard Devontae Shuler scored just one after averaging 11.6 before Tuesday.

BRAUN SEES TIME

With Missouri forward Jeremiah Tilmon still out with a foot injury, Tigers redshirt freshman Parker Braun played 24 minutes and led the team with seven rebounds. He entered Tuesday’s game averaging 4.9 minutes a game.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Ole Miss got the shot it wanted on its last possession. Tyree’s defender, Smith, lost his balance and fell backward. That left Tyree wide open for a potential game-tying 3-pointer, but his shot bounced off the rim.

BIG PICTURE

Ole Miss: While the Rebels were still in the game at halftime, Tyree’s offensive production couldn’t match that of Pinson and Smith’s. Tyree has been a bright spot in the Rebels’ offense; he has scored 48 over his last two games.

Missouri: The Tigers are 3-1 in their last four, including a victory over No. 11 Auburn on Saturday. Between Auburn and Ole Miss, Missouri guard Xavier Pinson shot 19 for 25 from field goal range.

UP NEXT

Missouri: The Tigers will head to Fayetteville to face Arkansas on Saturday.

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