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No. 18 Mississippi 100, Belmont 59

December 18, 1997

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) _ Reserve Joezon Darby scored 16 points, including four 3-pointers, as No. 18 Mississippi ran past Belmont 100-59 on Wednesday night.

Ole Miss (6-1), playing at home for the first time in more than three weeks, scored the first six points on the way to a 30-6 lead. The Rebels led 40-14 at halftime.

Belmont (2-6), a Division I independent from Nashville, had seven turnovers before scoring its second basket. The Bruins finished with 23 turnovers and never challenged.

All 11 players who saw action for Ole Miss scored, including Darby among five players in double figures and two others with nine points each. Ansu Sesay’s 11 points extended his streak of double-figure scoring games to 31 straight.

Ole Miss shot 57 percent (39-of-69) and won at home for the 25th time in 26 games, a streak dating to January 1996.

The last two home games have been wins of more than 40 points. The Rebels beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 81-36 on Nov. 24, jumping to a 50-12 halftime game in that game.

Darby had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in a 13-2 second-half run against Belmont, pushing Ole Miss ahead 66-26 with 14 minutes left. The Rebels’ biggest lead was 81-39 after Sesay’s short jumper with 6:46 left.

Ole Miss hit 100 points for the second time in four games when freshman Jason Flanigan, the brother of former Auburn standout Wes Flanigan, hit two free throws with 18 seconds left.

The Rebels have rebounded from their only loss, 71-67 at Ball State on Dec. 6, by cutting their turnovers in half in both games since. After 30 turnovers against Ball State, the Rebels had 15 in a win at Wichita State on Saturday and only seven against Belmont.

Ryan Steger led Belmont with 13 points, including three 3-pointers.

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