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NCAAB: Ole Miss hangs on to beat Middle Tennessee

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Daeshun Ruffin scored 12 points in his return from a broken hand as host Ole Miss survived some shaky moments and recorded a 62-52 victory over Middle Tennessee on Wednesday night in Oxford, Miss.

Ruffin played 13 minutes in his second collegiate game after getting injured in his debut Nov. 9 against New Orleans. The freshman guard made 4 of 9 shots and scored nine points in the Rebels’ sluggish first half.

Nysier Brooks also scored 12 points to go along with eight rebounds as Ole Miss (7-3) shot 36.7 percent and rebounded from shooting 27.4 percent in Saturday’s 23-point loss to Western Kentucky in Atlanta and won for the fourth straight time over Middle Tennessee.

Jaemyn Brakefield added 10 points and six boards as the Rebels withstood a difficult night from leading scorer Jarkel Joiner. Joiner entered the game averaging 15.7 points but shot 3 of 14 and was held to nine points to go along with five assists.

Teafale Lenard scored 12 points and was the only double-digit scorer for the Blue Raiders (8-3), who shot a dreadful 34.9 percent and missed 24 of 27 3-point tries. Leading scorer Eli Lawrence finished with one point and was 0 of 9 from the field, including 0 of 7 from 3-point range as the Blue Raiders lost for the second time in its past seven games.

After missing its first eight shots, Ole Miss took a 22-16 lead on a jumper by Joiner with 3:58 remaining. Middle Tennessee was within 27-24 by halftime after Donovan Sims hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left.

The Rebels increased their lead to 50-40 on a layup by Ruffin with 10:39 left and missed six straight shots, allowing the Blue Raiders to get within 50-46 on a dunk by Lenard with 7:42 to go. Ole Miss countered with a 9-4 spurt to take a 59-50 lead on Tye Fagan’s jumper with 2:24 left to essentially seal the win.

–Field Level Media

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