Mississippi Rebels vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Pick & Prediction JANUARY 13th 2024

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Once-beaten Ole Miss will look to continue a new winning streak when it hosts Vanderbilt in Oxford, Miss., on Saturday.

The Rebels reeled off 14 straight wins to begin the Chris Beard era before an embarrassing 90-64 loss at Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee last weekend.

Ole Miss followed that with a 103-85 home demolition of Florida on Wednesday, during which the Rebels shot 59.1 percent from the field and 85 percent from the foul line but were outrebounded 44-34. Seven-foot-5 forward Jamarion Sharp set a school record with nine blocks in only 17 minutes.

“The game within the game tonight was several things,” Beard said, “but rebounding was one of them, and I thought we did a good job rebounding in the first half and held our own in the second half.”

The Rebels (14-1, 1-1) rank sixth in the country in 3-point percentage (40.1) and have four players — Matthew Murrell (16.9), Allen Flanigan (16.3), Jaylen Murray (14.3) and Jaemyn Brakefield (12.7) — averaging double figures in scoring.

The Commodores (5-10, 0-2) suffered their second loss in a row (and ninth in 11 games) in Tuesday’s 77-69 defeat at LSU. Ezra Manjon (16.7 points-per-game average) led Vanderbilt with 19 points and three assists.

Manjon exited in the second half of the previous game against Alabama with what appeared to be a leg or foot injury, but he recovered to play a team-high 31 minutes at LSU.

The Commodores lost leading rebounder Colin Smith (6.6) to a season-ending Achilles injury in December, while second-leading rebounder Ven-Allen Lubin (5.0) has been sidelined twice with injuries this season.

Lubin missed Vanderbilt’s Dec. 30 win over Dartmouth with a groin injury but played 15 minutes against Alabama and 27 at LSU.

Vanderbilt has played better in its past four games, losing by two at then-No. 23 Memphis, by three vs. Alabama and by eight at LSU, with the Dartmouth win in between.

“We’re doing some good things and having some good stretches, but we’re kind of shooting ourselves in the foot, particularly last game, with not taking care of the ball and giving (LSU) some easy opportunities,” Commodores coach Jerry Stackhouse said.

–Field Level Media

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