Ole Miss focuses on boards for Sam Houston matchup
League: NCAA Basketball
Posted on: 17 Nov, 2023 at 12:59 PM
Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Ole Miss coach Chris Beard can think of a couple of areas where he would like to see his team improve.
Nonetheless, the Rebels keep finding ways to win as they conclude a season-opening, four-game homestand by facing Sam Houston on Friday night in Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss (3-0) escaped with a 70-69 victory against Detroit Mercy on Tuesday behind Jaylen Murray's 22 points and seven assists. Beard said the Titans earned their advantage at the free-throw line -- making 13 of 18 compared with the Rebels' 5 of 6 -- by being the more aggressive team.
Detroit Mercy's five-rebound advantage came one game after Eastern Washington had a nine-rebound advantage against the Rebels.
"It's been a focal point of practice, it's been a focal point of individual player meetings," Beard said of rebounding. "We've just got to get better. It's no secret. We have to keep working on it."
Beard was pleased with the fact that Ole Miss had 22 assists and just eight turnovers against Detroit Mercy. That continued an early season trend, as the Rebels ranked No. 17 in the country through Wednesday with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.12.
"That's basically what gave us the chance to win the game," Beard said. "Obviously we didn't play our best game and we were fortunate to win it."
Sam Houston (1-2) is coming off an 85-70 loss at Oklahoma State on Sunday. A disparity in 3-point shooting made a big difference.
The Bearkats allowed the Cowboys to shoot 51.5 percent (17 of 33) from beyond the arc.
"We just looked a little lackadaisical on defense, and then we weren't getting out to shooters on time and they were just hitting shots," Sam Houston guard Jaden Ray said.
The Bearkats finished 10 of 26 (38.5 percent) from 3-point range, leaving the Cowboys with a 21-point advantage from beyond the arc. Sam Houston's overall field-goal success rate was just 37.7 percent.
"We had good shots -- just weren't hitting them," Ray said. "It was one of those days for us."
Davon Barnes led Sam Houston with 16 points.
--Field Level Media