FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A raucous Bud Walton Arena crowd and Arkansas’ 16-game home winning streak didn’t faze the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday night.
The Rebels used a hot-shooting first half to build a big lead and won on the road against a ranked team for the first time since 2003, beating the 19th-ranked Razorbacks 96-82.
The victory was the Rebels’ fifth in the past six meetings at Walton Arena, where the Razorbacks have lost three times in the past 31 games. The win also avenged a 30-point loss to the Razorbacks last season in Fayetteville.
“You come into this building and win by 14, it shows the real potential of this team,” said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, who improved to 11-4 against the Razorbacks.
It was the most points of the season for Ole Miss (11-6, 2-2 SEC), which shot 56.4 percent from the field for the game, including 74 percent in the first half.
Junior guard Stefan Moody scored 18 points, senior guard Jarvis Summers had 17 and sophomore center Dwight Coleby and sophomore forward Sebastian Saiz each added 12 for the Rebels, who outrebounded the Razorbacks 33-27 and had a 33-15 advantage in bench points.
“We just came in and played our game,” Summers said. “We know Arkansas is a great team and we started the game in the right way.
“We knew they were going to pressure us and we withstood it. Things were going our way early and everything was falling.”
Sophomore forward Bobby Portis, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, led the Razorbacks with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Michael Qualls and senior guard Rashad Madden each added 22 points and junior guard Anthlon Bell had 10.
The Razorbacks (13-4, 2-2) have lost two consecutive games after moving up to No. 19 last week.
“We just didn’t bring it tonight,” Qualls said. “It was just one of those days. We weren’t physical enough and it seemed like we were a half-step behind all night and you can’t win that way.
“Basketball is a game of runs and they had more runs than we did. Everybody on our team feels like they could’ve done more.”
Ole Miss led by 12 at the half and by as many as 17 early in the second half.
The Razorbacks pulled within nine twice behind the hot shooting of Portis and Qualls, but Ole Miss responded each time.
Back-to-back shots from Portis got Arkansas within 65-56 with 14:30 left in the game, but a 14-7 Ole Miss run put the Rebels ahead 79-62 with 9:02 left.
Arkansas cut it to 11 with just more than four minutes left on a 3-pointer from Madden, but that was as close as the Razorbacks came the rest of the way.
“Ole Miss did a good job of attacking us,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “They did something here — we play so well here — they stole one.
“They executed better and it just didn’t seem like we were on the same page defensively.”
Ole Miss certainly felt right at home early.
The Rebels shot 74.1 percent from the field (20 of 27) in the first half, including 6 of 7 from 3-point range and led 52-40 at halftime.
“The first half, the way we shot it, gave us great belief,” Kennedy said.
Arkansas, meanwhile, shot 39.3 percent from the field (11 of 28) in the first half and hit only 4 of 12 3-pointers.
The Rebels, who had a 23-3 advantage in bench points in the first half, hit eight of their first nine shots from the field, used a 12-1 run and led 20-10 with 12:18 left in the first half.
That lead grew to 24-10 on a 3-pointer from White and to 27-12 on a 3-pointer from Moody.
A 3-pointer from Madden pulled the Razorbacks within 27-20, but Ole Miss used a long-range shot from junior guard Martavious Newby and a short jumper from senior guard Terence Smith to make it 32-20 with 8:44 left in the half.
A three-point play from Bell cut Ole Miss’ lead to 45-37
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