OXFORD — One of Ole Miss' worst offensive games of the season meant the Rebels couldn't derail red-hot Arkansas.
Arkansas won its fifth-straight game Wednesday, beating Ole Miss 64-55 at The Pavilion. The Rebels (10-10, 2-6 SEC) trimmed the Razorbacks' lead to 43-40 with 9:53 left in the game but Arkansas (15-5, 5-3) responded with a 13-0 run over the next five-and-a-half minutes to put the game away.
The loss is Ole Miss' fifth in its last six games, giving the Rebels their worst record in SEC play since the end of the 2019-20 season. The Rebels shot 37.3% from the field, marking the third time they've been held below 40% in SEC play.
One step forward, two steps back
So much of Ole Miss' offensive success in its win against Florida on Monday came from its ability to play well around the rim and generate opportunities at the free-throw line. The Rebels shot 52.1% in that game and scored 70 points despite shooting just 4-for-13 from beyond the arc.
That efficiency wasn't on display again Wednesday. The Rebels shot poorly from deep again, this time shooting 4-for-17. But instead of shooting 60% on 2-point baskets and making 16 free throws as they did against Florida, the Rebels shot 40.5% inside the arc and made 13 free throws.
The Florida game gave Ole Miss a template for how to win if its not thriving on the perimeter. This loss against Arkansas put Ole Miss' offense back at old lows, with the Rebels barely eclipsing their season low of 51 points in SEC play.
Nysier Brooks disappears
Senior center Nysier Brooks helped keep Ole Miss in the game in the first half, leading the team in points (10) and rebounds (5) before the break. His virtually disappeared in the second half though, playing 15 minutes but scoring no points with just one rebound.
Ole Miss isn't a deep team. The Rebels only played eight players before the final minute of Wednesday's game. Just three of them are big men. One of those bigs, Sammy Hunter, only played eight minutes.
Not having enough forwards didn't lose Ole Miss this game. The Rebels actually outscored the Razorbacks in the paint and the rebounding margin was in Ole Miss' favor. But after Brooks dominated for 15 minutes in the first half, he didn't have much left in the second half.
Ole Miss hosts Kansas State on Saturday (3 p.m., ESPNU) in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or email@example.com. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Ole Miss basketball loses 64-55 at home vs. Arkansas