Ruffin leads Ole Miss to win over K-State in Challenge

Jan 29, 2022, 1:33 AM | Updated: 3:34 pm

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Daeshun Ruffin scored 13 of his 17 in the second half and Mississippi defeated Kansas State 67-56 as part of Saturday’s Big 12/SEC challenge.

Luis Rodriguez added 10 points for the Rebels (11-10), who shot 45%, 15% better than Kansas State.

Mark Smith collected his fifth double-double this seeason, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the second half and grabbing 16 rebounds for the Wildcats (10-10), who lost their third straight. Nijel Pack scored 18 points, making six of Kansas State’s 11 3-pointers, and had seven assists.

Leading by six at halftime, Ole Miss began the second half with a 7-0 run capped by Rodriguez’s 3-pointer. Smith responded with seven unanswered points and scored 15 straight. But even after his run ended with eight minutes remaining, the Rebels had a 10-point lead thanks in large part to Ruffin’s second-half production.

A Ruffin basket put Ole Miss up by 13 with six minutes to go and the Wildcats wouldn’t get closer than nine thereafter.

Ole Miss grabbed the lead seven minutes into the game with a 7-0 run. Another 7-0 run extended the Rebels’ lead to 10 before Luke Kasubke converted a four-point play for Kansas State at the end of the half to trail 30-24. Kasubke’s 3-pointer came after the Wildcats had missed nine straight shots, finishing at 26% for the half.

The Rebels were plus-10 on the boards, 15 of 20 from the free-throw line to the Wildcats’ 7 of 8 and had a 32-14 advantage in points in the paint.

Ole Miss, now 1-6 in Challenge games, returns to SEC play at LSU on Tuesday. Kansas State is home against Oklahoma State in a Big 12 game on Wednesday.

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Ruffin leads Ole Miss to win over K-State in Challenge