WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ-Sebastian Saiz had his school-record 21st double-double of the season, Deandre Burnett scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and Mississippi beat Monmouth 91-83 on Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.
Saiz finished with 23 points, on 6-of-9 shooting, and 11 rebounds and Burnett hit four 3-pointers. Cullen Neal, Breein Tyree and Terence Davis scored 11 points apiece for Ole Miss (21-13), the fifth seed in its bracket. The Rebels will face top-seeded Syracuse or No. 8 seed UNC-Greensboro in the second round.
Diago Quinn scored six points and Je’lon Hornbeak hit a 3-pointer during an 11-0 run that gave Monmouth (27-7) a 67-64 lead on Quinn’s dunk with 9:06 to play. The Rebels answered with a 12-3 spurt to take the lead for good as the Hawks went the next 4:29 without a basket. Justin Robinson hit a 3 to end Monmouth’s drought ad trim its deficit to 76-73, but Davis made a layup and then hit a 3 and it was at least a two-possession game the rest of the way.
Robinson had 23 points, including seven of the Hawks’ season-high 16 3-pointers, and seven assists. He is Monmouth’s Division I leader with 2,003 career points, which is second in school history. Hornbeak hit six 3s and finished with 18 points.