Mississippi Rebels vs. Auburn Tigers Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 3rd 2024

It was just two weeks ago that Ole Miss dropped an 82-59 decision at Auburn.

It was the Rebels’ second straight loss and came by the second-largest margin among their three defeats this season. Ole Miss (18-3, 5-3 Southeastern Conference) has rebounded by winning three games in a row heading into Saturday evening’s rematch against the No. 16 Tigers (17-4, 6-2) in Oxford, Miss.

“It’s starting to feel like there’s a little bit more of a relationship between what we want to do and what we get done,” Rebels coach Chris Beard said. “We’re becoming more consistent. We’re not where we need to be. We need to have a great February and March, but I think we’re definitely trending in the right direction.”

Since the first game against Auburn, Ole Miss routed visiting Arkansas by 26, got its first SEC road victory with a win over Texas A&M, and defeated Mississippi State in front of a record crowd in Oxford on Tuesday.

The Rebels are 13-0 at home in their first season under Beard. The record crowd and electric atmosphere are two signs of the progress the program already has made.

“If you’re going to win the fight, you’ve got to get in the fight, and I think we’re definitely doing that,” Beard said. “It started back in November when we sold out several games in the non-conference schedule.

“We’re fighting for two objectives. You want every seat filled, and then once those seats are filled, you want to have those people in the seats impact the game, and we’re just continuing to grow it.”

The atmosphere figures to be similar on Saturday as the Rebels try to be much more competitive with the Tigers than they were in the first meeting.

Auburn led by as many as 35 points and held Ole Miss to one double-digit scorer (Allen Flanigan, 10) as its bench outscored the Ole Miss bench 40-18.

The Tigers followed the first meeting with consecutive road losses against teams that were unranked at the time (Alabama and Mississippi State) before bouncing back with an 81-54 home victory against Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

“We did what we needed to do,” coach Bruce Pearl said after Auburn completed a two-game sweep of a Commodores team that is winless in the SEC.

Johni Broome continued his recent strong play, finishing with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

Pearl described Broome’s play as “dominant” over the last three games, a stretch in which he has averaged 18.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocks.

“I’ve been getting in the flow lately,” Broome said. “That’s a good thing. Hopefully, I can keep it going.”

Denver Jones, who made three 3-pointers as the Tigers raced to an 11-2 lead, said the return home provided an energy boost that “carried us through the whole game.”

Now Auburn will try to carry that performance onto the road.

“It gets real coming up Saturday,” Pearl said. “It’s going to take (something) special. We have to continue to be able to step up if we’re going to be able to keep winning.”

–Field Level Media

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