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Ole Miss welcomes NC State for rare matchup


Eyeing a 6-0 start under first-year head coach Chris Beard, Ole Miss will welcome North Carolina State to Oxford, Miss., for the first time on Tuesday as part of the inaugural SEC-ACC Challenge.

NC State (4-1) is the first major conference opponent that Ole Miss (5-0) has faced this season. The Wolfpack will also be the first team the Rebels have played this season that made last spring's NCAA Tournament.

After a 77-76 road win over Temple last week, Beard is looking forward to another challenge, but also recognizes that his team still has strides to make.

"We got a long ways to go. It's early in the season, but I thought our defensive rebounding and offensive rebounding in the second half separated us a little bit," Beard said.

Indeed, Ole Miss outrebounded Temple 36-29 in the narrow win. Also key for the Rebels was their 3-point shooting as they knocked down 10 of 18 from deep, marking the first time they've shot better than 50 percent from behind the arc and from the field in a game since 2020 (they were 30 of 59 -- 50.8 percent -- from the floor for the game).

Jaylen Murray hit a trio of 3-pointers in the win.

Allen Flanigan had 26 points in the win. The transfer from Auburn leads the Rebels in scoring this season with 20.2 points per game.

NC State is coming off its first loss of the season, losing 95-86 to BYU in the Vegas Showdown on Friday despite a career-best 28 points from Casey Morsell. The Wolfpack led for more than 29 minutes, but the Cougars got red hot in the second half, shooting 70 percent from the floor and 9 of 15 from 3-point land to take the lead and pull away.

"We played against a really good BYU team. It felt like a late February conference game. I thought, for the most part, it was a really good game," Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said. "This was the first game where we didn't do a really good job of comprehending the scouting report. Coming into the game, we knew that they were a really elite three-point shooting team."

This season, NC State is allowing teams to shoot 33.3 percent from deep, tied for 214th in all of Division I.

In NC State's previous game, an 84-78 win over Vanderbilt in the first game of the Vegas Classic last Wednesday, the Wolfpack got a strong performance from freshman Dennis Parker Jr., who had 18 points and nine rebounds. After adding six points, two rebounds and two assists against BYU, he was voted ACC Rookie of the Week.

--Field Level Media

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Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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