After being stung with its first two losses of the season, Ole Miss bounced back with its best offensive performance of the year.
UCF’s offense also was exceptional in its most recent game.
The Rebels (7-2) will host the Knights (7-2) in what could be a high-scoring nonconference game Wednesday night in Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss posted season highs for points, field-goal percentage, assists and steals as it led wire-to-wire in a 98-61 home victory against Valparaiso on Saturday.
“I really thought this was obviously the best offensively that we’ve played,” Rebels coach Kermit Davis said.
Ole Miss, which lost to Oklahoma (59-55) on a neutral court and to Memphis on the road (68-57), had its best offensive half of the season against Valparaiso, opening a 39-19 lead on its way to a 53-30 halftime edge. Every Rebel who played in the game scored as Ole Miss came within one basket of reaching triple digits for the first time in five years.
“It was good to see everybody play,” Davis said. “We had 54 points off the bench, which was over half of our points and is a positive. It was good to have a win like that.”
UCF, meantime, were playing just their third game in nearly three weeks when they enjoyed their most productive long-range shooting effort of the season.
The Knights made a season-high 11 shots from beyond the arc in Sunday’s 75-49 victory against visiting Tarleton. The Knights’ 3-point percentage (47.8) was their second-highest of the season.
UCF freshman Taylor Hendricks scored a game-high 16 points, sinking all three of his 3-point attempts. That helped him win his fourth consecutive American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week award.
“He’s a terrific young player,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. “You see him getting better and growing in every game.”
UCF led Tarleton by just three points at halftime but outscored the Texans 45-22 in the second half.
“We were picking up and pressing,” Dawkins said, “and I thought we wore them down a little bit in the second half.”
–Field Level Media