Western Michigan beats Southern 85-70 in Emerald Opener

NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Emerald Coast Classic is getting a rematch of its inaugural championship when Cincinnati and Mississippi meet in Saturday’s title game.

The Rebels won that first tournament in 2014, defeating the Bearcats 66-54. Both won their semi-final games Friday. Cincinnati cruised over George Mason 71-55. Mississippi, though, blew an early 13-point lead before coming back and holding off Baylor 78-70 behind Breein Tyree, who scored a career-high 28 points.

“I think our teams are kind of in some ways built in the same way on toughness and on unselfish play,” said Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis. “I think you will see two hard-playing teams.”

Bruce Stevens was the only other player to score in double figures for Mississippi (3-1) with 17 points.

Tristan Clark led Baylor (3-2) with 27 points, also a career high. Makai Mason scored 18 for the Bears while Matthew Mayer had 12 points and Jared Butler added 11.

Tyree scored eight points to lead Mississippi to an 18-5 lead less than seven minutes in.

“They really played a lot more intense than us and a lot harder the first four or five minutes, punched us in the mouth is what we like to say,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “They contested every pass and got us out of our offense, we turned it over, didn’t score, they got in transition, we didn’t get any stops.”

Baylor then started reeling in the Rebels and briefly took a 39-38 lead. Mississippi, though, ended the half with a 43-39 lead after scoring the next five points on a pair of free throws by Terence Davis and a 3-pointer by Stevens.

The Bears pulled into a 46-46 tie early in the second half on a Clark dunk, but Tyree answered with a 3-pointer and the Rebels never again trailed.