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Ole Miss, Cincinnati advance to Emerald Coast Classic finals

November 24, 2018

NICEVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Emerald Coast Classic is getting a rematch of its inaugural championship when Cincinnati and Mississippi meet in Saturday’s title game.

The Rebels won that first tournament in 2014, defeating the Bearcats 66-54. Both won their semi-final games Friday. Cincinnati cruised over George Mason 71-55. Mississippi, though, blew an early 13-point lead before coming back and holding off Baylor 78-70 behind Breein Tyree, who scored a career-high 28 points.

“I think our teams are kind of in some ways built in the same way on toughness and on unselfish play,” said Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis. “I think you will see two hard-playing teams.”

Bruce Stevens was the only other player to score in double figures for Mississippi (3-1) with 17 points.

Tristan Clark led Baylor (3-2) with 27 points, also a career high. Makai Mason scored 18 for the Bears while Matthew Mayer had 12 points and Jared Butler added 11.

Tyree scored eight points to lead Mississippi to an 18-5 lead less than seven minutes in.

“They really played a lot more intense than us and a lot harder the first four or five minutes, punched us in the mouth is what we like to say,” said Baylor coach Scott Drew. “They contested every pass and got us out of our offense, we turned it over, didn’t score, they got in transition, we didn’t get any stops.”

Baylor then started reeling in the Rebels and briefly took a 39-38 lead. Mississippi, though, ended the half with a 43-39 lead after scoring the next five points on a pair of free throws by Terence Davis and a 3-pointer by Stevens.

The Bears pulled into a 46-46 tie early in the second half on a Clark dunk, but Tyree answered with a 3-pointer and the Rebels never again trailed.

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Cane Broome came off the bench to pace Cincinnati with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

Tre Scott made 7 of 9 from the field and finished with 14 points while Jarron Cumberland and Rashawn Fredericks each added 11 points for Cincinnati (4-1).

Javon Greene led the Patriots (2-4) with 11 points.

“I just try to come in and embrace the role coach put me in,” Broome said. “I just try to come in and change the pace of the game. .“If somebody don’t step up I just keep going. If they step up I find the open man.”

The Bearcats never trailed. George Mason closed the gap to a point a twice in the first five minutes on a pair of 3-pointers by Goanar Mar and Jaire Grayer. Grayer’s 3 cut the deficit to 7-6 but Broome led Cincinnati on an 11-4 run that made it 18-10 midway through the first half.

Broome scored eight points during that stretch with a pair of free throws, a layup and two jumpers. Keith Williams and Broome made back-to-back jumpers to open the second half that made it 36-23 and Cincinnati led by double figures the rest of the way.

Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said he believes his team is better when what is in-effect a starter comes off the bench.

“You’re able to what they call sub to strength,” Cronin said. He said Broome is “able to come in and make you a better offensive team if you’re struggling to score.”

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