Shuler carries Ole Miss to blowout win over Vandy
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Not much has gone right in Jerry Stackhouse’s first season at Vanderbilt.
The Commodores are last in the Southeastern Conference with only one SEC win, and that one was almost a month ago. Even so, Saturday’s 86-60 loss to Ole Miss was especially demoralizing for Stackhouse, more so for the way his team played than the outcome.
“It was just one of those days, I guess, where everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” Stackhouse said. “Even though we haven’t been winning games, we’ve been doing things well. Today was one of the first games where I thought we didn’t get better.”
All five Ole Miss starters finished in double figures. Devontae Shuler scored 18 points and KJ Buffen scored 17 points to lead Ole Miss (14-15, 5-11 SEC) in the win. The Rebels shot 55% from the field (35 of 64) and hit nine 3-pointers. Behind Shuler and Buffen, Blake Hinson had 13 points and Khadim Sy 12.
“Defensively we never really set the tone of what we were trying to do,” Stackhouse said. “We came in with a different game plan than what we normally do, just to try to get ball out of the hands of Tyree and Shuler. Sort of banking on the other guys not to step up, but they did.”
Vanderbilt (9-20, 1-15) allowed a 13-1 run to open the game, then hit four straight 3s, two by Scotty Pippen Jr. to tie the game at 13. The two teams traded leads twice over the next few minutes, but a 19-5 run late in the half put the Rebels up 43-27 at the break, and they never trailed in the second half.
Vanderbilt held Ole Miss leading scorer Breein Tyree to 11 points, his lowest point total in eight games, but the Rebels registered 26 assists and simply found other ways to generate offense. The Commodores also turned the ball over 11 times.
“We just moved the ball really well,” Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis said. “Breein only played 30 minutes, which I think is a good thing. We jumped out to that quick lead and subbed some guys in, and boom, it was tied, but then the next time we subbed those guys in, they held. Just ball movement, ball shared. We had a couple of really good possessions there in the second half.”
Sy was 5 of 7 from the floor and had six rebounds.
“In practice, coach has been telling me to be more physical around rim and to work on shooting the ball with better balance,” Sy said. “He’s been telling me that for a while, and I’m just trying to listen and improve my game.”
Ejike Obinna led the Commodores with 13 points, Pippen scored 11 and Saban Lee 10.
Vanderbilt: The program continues to play out the remaining games of a disappointing season. This is its seventh loss in a row, and it has lost 34 of its last 35 SEC games.
Ole Miss: The Rebels played one of their most complete offensive games of the season, and 86 points is their highest point total in SEC play. They’re 8-2 against Vanderbilt in their last 10 matchups.
Vanderbilt heads to Tuscaloosa on Tuesday to play Alabama.
Ole Miss hosts Missouri on Wednesday.