Daeshun Ruffin sparked Ole Miss' offense with a career-high 21 points as the Rebels broke their four-game Southeastern Conference losing streak in a 70-54 win over Florida Monday night in Oxford, Miss.
In a game rescheduled from Dec. 29 due to Florida's COVID-19 issues, the Rebels (10-9, 2-5 SEC) snapped a 22-22 halftime tie by rushing out on an 8-0 run, never trailing in the half and winning for just the second time in their last eight games.
The win improved their record to 31-23 over Florida (12-7, 3-4) at home.
The school's first McDonald's All-American recruit, Ruffin keyed the Rebels' second-half output -- 48 points -- with 15 points. He also tallied six assists and four steals for the game.
Matthew Murrell notched 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting with three treys, and Nysier Brooks produced 11 points and seven rebounds. Luis Rodriguez had 10 points and seven rebounds.
A four-point home underdog, Ole Miss shook off a cold first half by finishing 25 of 48 from the field (52.1 percent) and held a 23-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
Big man Jason Jitoboh posted 12 points (6-for-6 shooting) and five rebounds for Florida, which had its three-game winning streak snapped -- all in SEC play.
Anthony Duruji and Tyree Appleby each had 11 points and four rebounds.
The Gators made 19 of 50 shots (38 percent), including a woeful 4-for-29 (13.8 percent) from distance.
Colin Castleton -- Florida's top scorer, rebounder and shot blocker -- was out for the third consecutive game with a shoulder injury.
The Gators made 5 of 10 shots in the first half's opening nine minutes, leading to a 15-10 advantage, with Phlandrous Fleming Jr. pacing the team with five points.
With Ole Miss missing 11 of its first 16 shots from the floor, the visitors were able to craft a 19-12 lead at 8:18 on free throws by Kowacie Reeves.
But a 10-3 run by the Rebels left the game tied at 22 at the break.
Both teams shot 32 percent from the field in the half and were cold from long range: Florida made just 2 of 15 while Ole Miss was 2 of 9.
--Field Level Media