Monday, December 3, 2007

Rebels remain Unbeaten in Men's Hoops

Dwayne Curtis scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds Saturday as Ole Miss defeated New Mexico 85-77 in a battle of unbeaten teams.

Freshman point guard Chris Warren added 16 points and five assists for the Rebels (6-0), who are off to their best start since 2000-01, when they advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Trevor Gaskins and Eniel Polynice added 14 and 12 points for the Rebels, respectively. Ole Miss never trailed, but converted 9-of-11 free throws in the final three minutes to halt a late rally by the Lobos.

New Mexico (7-1) was led by Roman Martinez, who finished 7-of-7 from the field, with 17 points. Dairese Gary added 10 points and five assists, but the Lobos fell behind 11-2 in the opening two minutes and never recovered.

Ole Miss led 47-30 at halftime on the strength of a 17-1 run midway through the first half. New Mexico had only one basket in the final eight minutes of the half, while Curtis had eight points in the decisive surge.

New Mexico made a charge in the final three minutes, pulling within 81-76 on a jumper by J.R. Giddens with 15 seconds left. The Lobos misfired on two final possessions while Polynice hit four straight free throws to seal it.

Ole Miss was 28-of-55, 51 percent, from the field and won the battle of boards, 36-32. New Mexico was 27-of-58 from the field and forced 13 turnovers in the final 14 minutes to help spark the belated rally.

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