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Clutch Nysier Brooks leads Ole Miss against Rider

·2 min read

Apparently, Ole Miss can count on newcomer Nysier Brooks when games get tight.

Brooks, a graduate transfer from Miami, helped key the Rebels' rally in their most recent win and should be a factor Tuesday night when they host Rider in Oxford, Miss.

In avoiding an upset Friday against Mississippi Valley State, Ole Miss (4-2) saw Brooks make major contributions at both ends of the court en route to a 73-58 win.

With his team trailing 38-33 at halftime, the Philadelphia native helped the Rebels' advantage on the glass -- 22-13 overall in the second half, including 10-4 on the offensive end.

Brooks used his first double-double to lead the Rebels to victory, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The seven-footer was also a career-best 9-for-10 from the foul line, including draining all six in the pivotal second half.

"I have just really been trying to find my way on the defensive side of the ball with these last couple of games," Brooks said. "Just get back to the person I am and what I'm known for, and that is just rebounding the ball and having a defensive presence on the ball, whether it is outside or at the run."

Rider (3-5) will try to get back to winning, which it did once -- beating Bucknell -- in its two games at last week's Cancun Challenge in Mexico.

Most recently, the Broncs started fast but eventually fell 65-58 to host South Carolina on Sunday.

They led almost the entire first half and into the second, but coach Kevin Baggett's team ultimately succumbed in the successful debut of Gamecocks standout wing Keyshawn Bryant, who had a game-best 17 points behind a couple of dazzling plays.

"Our guys continue to battle," Baggett said after the loss against the SEC school. "Another game that we led at halftime. We just haven't been able to close out games enough. Obviously, we did at Bucknell. ... It's a learning process.

"Too many breakdowns, especially when the shot clock breaks down. Our guys are doing a good job defending (the opponent's) actions."

Leading scored Dwight Murray Jr. (15.9 points per game) had a strong game against South Carolina, producing 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

--Field Level Media

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