Devontae Shuler scored 17 points and junior KJ Buffen recorded the third double-double of his career and first of the season as Ole Miss took command over the last nine minutes for a 70-62 victory over Kentucky Tuesday night in Oxford, Miss.
The win for the Rebels (14-10, 9-8 Southeastern Conference) snapped their 11-game losing streak in the series and kept alive their chances for a fourth-place finish and double-bye in next week's SEC tournament in Nashville, Tenn.
Buffen had 16 points and 10 rebounds in just 24 minutes before fouling out with 4:12 remaining. Sammy Hunter and Romello White with 11 points each gave the Rebels four players in double-figure scoring. White had 10 rebounds for his 19th career double-double.
The Wildcats (8-15, 7-9) also had four players in double figures with Keion Brooks Jr. scoring 16, Olivier Sarr 15, Isaiah Jackson 13, and Davion Mintz 10. Jackson was limited to 24 minutes and fouled out in the final minute.
Down by three after one half, the Wildcats took their first lead since scoring the first two points of the game on the strength of an 8-0 run early in the second half to go up 35-30. The Rebels responded and led 40-39 before a 7-0 spurt put the Wildcats back up 46-40.
The score was tied at 50-50 with under 10 minutes left when White converted a three-point play with a layup and free throw with 9:14 remaining to give the Rebels the lead for good.
The Rebels worked their way to an early 10-point lead at 23-13 as Kentucky got out of the gate slowly. They made only five of their first 23 field-goal attempts, but closed the half making their last five shots to close to within 32-29 at the break.
--Field Level Media