Homecoming for Ole Miss coach at No. 14 Mississippi State

The Associated Press

Ole Miss beat one ranked team on Wednesday.

It will try to beat another Saturday.

Fresh off an 82-67 victory at home against No. 11 Auburn, the Rebels travel to Starkville to face No. 14 Mississippi State in another SEC game.

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A lot of good things have been happening for Ole Miss in coach Kermit Davis' first season. A win against the Bulldogs would be special.

Davis played at State and began his coaching career there as a graduate assistant.

"I haven't been back there in a long time," Davis said. "I have a lot of pals that will be there and I said it (before) and I will say it again, nobody at Humphrey Coliseum will want to beat Mississippi State more than Kermit Davis."

Davis' team has been beating everyone it has faced recently. The Rebels (12-2, 2-0) have won nine games in a row, the program's longest winning streak since the 2012-13 season.

"Our guys have totally bought in," Davis said.

"We coached effort, we coached attitude, and now we aren't coaching as much effort and we are coaching zero attitude because those guys have bought in. When they do that, they are capable of doing great things."

The win over Auburn was the Rebels' first over a ranked team in four years.

"Obviously we beat a really good team," Davis said.

"Obviously the crowd was a big part. It's fun to see in our first year at Ole Miss us playing that well in front of that kind of crowd. The biggest thing I was proud of was we just responded to all of their runs. That's what good teams do."

They never trailed against Auburn as senior Terence Davis led the way with 27 points and 12 rebounds.

"When you get a guard that's going to get 12 rebounds, you know he played great," Kermit Davis said. "When guys rebound the ball, you know they're going to hit shots, and that's what he did."

Now the Rebels go back on the road. They began SEC play with an 81-71 victory at Vanderbilt on Jan. 5.

If the Bulldogs (12-2, 0-1) had hit another shot or two they could have beaten South Carolina, but they missed an opportunity to win in regulation and another to tie at the end of overtime in an 87-82 road loss Tuesday.

The loss ended State's SEC-leading nine-game winning streak.

The Bulldogs had an chance to win at the end of regulation, but a contested driving layup by Lamar Peters rimmed out in the final seconds.

They were down three in the final 10 seconds of overtime when a turnover by Quinndary Weatherspoon turned into a dunk for the Gamecocks.

State's bench scored a season-low two points, making just 1 of 6 shots from the field.

"I've got to do a better job of using our bench," State coach Ben Howland said. "That's my fault."

Howland said he expects more tightly contested games like the one at South Carolina, beginning Saturday.

"We've got 17 more games just like (Wednesday's)," Howland said. "We've got to bounce back and get ready to play Saturday."

--Field Level Media

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