NCAAB: Ole Miss seeks 4-0 start, battles UT Martin


Ole Miss will be going for a sweep of a four-game homestand when it hosts UT Martin on Friday night in Oxford, Miss.

The Rebels (3-0) will go on the road for the first time this season next week when they meet Stanford in the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Fla., on Thanksgiving Day.

Ole Miss is coming off a 70-58 win over Chattanooga, its third consecutive double-figure victory after beginning the season with wins over Alcorn State 73-58 and Florida Atlantic 80-67.

Returning junior Matthew Murrell has gotten off to a hot start in averaging 18.3 points a game but scored 25 points in the win over Chattanooga. His 12 3-point baskets in 27 attempts are the most in the Southeastern Conference. He also leads the Rebels in assists with 11.

“I think Matt is as good a guard as anybody in the SEC,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “He’s got great experience. He’s been in games. He’s a great guy. He understands basketball. That’s just what experience does. He is an elite player.”

Murrell is the only Rebel who has averaged in double figures so far for the season, although freshman TJ Caldwell chipped in with 10 points against Chattanooga.

After opening the season with 22-point road losses at Pittsburgh and Youngstown State, UT Martin (2-2) recorded blowout home wins over Champion Christian of the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) and NAIA program Harris-Stowe.

KJ Simon, an all-Ohio Valley Conference first team honoree last season, led the Skyhawks’ 96-53 win over Harris Stowe with 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. For the season he has averaged 16.3 points and 5.5 rebounds a game to lead the team in both categories.

Parker Stewart, a transfer from Indiana in his second stint with the Skyhawks, scored 14 points and junior-college transfer Jalen Myers added 10 points to give the Skyhawks three players in double figures.

“We’re still a work in progress,” UT Martin coach Ryan Ridder said, “but it’s always good to get a win.”

–Field Level Media

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