Oxford, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Hoping to build on a six-game win streak, the Ole Miss Rebels will have to go through the 24th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks in an SEC contest at the Tad Smith Coliseum Saturday.
Ole Miss was able to keep its win streak alive thanks to some heroics against Florida on Thursday. A long 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to play gave the Rebels a 62-61 win over Florida, which improved the team's conference record to 8-3.
Arkansas has won three consecutive games heading into Saturday's clash. The Razorbacks are trying to prove they belong in the Top-25, and they showed that with a 101-87 victory over Auburn on Tuesday. Arkansas is 8-3 against SEC competition as well.
Arkansas owns the all-time series lead over Ole Miss, 42-31, although Ole Miss owns an 18-5 advantage in games played at Oxford. The Rebels took an earlier matchup between the sides this season in Fayetteville, 96-82, and are now seeking the regular-season sweep.
All offense and very little defense seemed to be the theme on Tuesday in Arkansas' huge win over Auburn. The Razorbacks racked up over 100 points in the contest thanks to 53.8 percent shooting from the floor, but the team also allowed the Tigers to net 87 points in the game. Bobby Portis scored a team- high 22 points for Arkansas, adding in eight rebounds in the victory. Michael Qualls netted 19 points, Anthlon Bell chipped in with 16, Rashad Madden contributed 12 points with eight assists, and Alandise Harris rounded out the double-digit scoring group with 10 points before he fouled out.
Offense has certainly been the primary focus for the Razorbacks this season. The team leads the SEC in scoring, averaging 80.3 ppg on 45.3 percent shooting from the floor. The impressive scoring totals start with Portis, who leads the team and the conference this season with a 17.9 ppg average on 56.4 percent shooting, which also tops the league. He ranks fourth in the SEC as well in rebounding, bringing down 8.8 boards per outing. Qualls checks in with 15.3 ppg, and Madden is right on the cusp of double-digit scoring with a 9.8 ppg mark. But Madden ranks second in the SEC in assists, dishing out 4.9 apg.
With Ole Miss trailing by two points, 61-59, to Florida on Thursday, and with just over two seconds remaining on the clock, Moody launched up a long 3-point attempt that fell through, giving his Rebels a one-point victory over the Gators. Moody finished with a team-best 18 points, hitting 4-of-7 from 3-point range in the win. LaDarius White contributed 16 points off the bench, and Dwight Coleby netted 11 with nine rebounds. Jarvis Summers dished out a team- best seven assists in the win, and Sebastian Saiz pulled down seven boards for the Rebels, who shot 42.6 percent from the floor in the game.
Moody heads into the weekend leading the team in scoring, averaging 15.6 ppg on 40.6 percent shooting. Summers (13.2 ppg) and White (11.6 ppg) also make sizable contributions for the Rebels this season, while Summers owns a 4.4 apg mark to best the squad and check in behind Madden in the SEC rankings. At 5.3 rpg, Saiz leads the team on the boards. The Rebels are scoring 73.8 ppg this season - ranked third in the SEC - and are allowing 66.6 ppg to opponents, who are connecting on 39.1 percent of their shots from the floor.