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Two of the SEC's top shooters face off Wednesday when streaking Mississippi travels to struggling Tennessee. Marshall Henderson is his hitting his grove as the Rebels have won four in a row to move into a second-place tie with Kentucky while Tennessee's Jordan McRae looks to bounce back from a 1-of-15 performance in a loss to first-place Florida that dropped the Volunteers into the middle of the pack. Coaches on both sides talked about trying to stop the opposing big-time scorer during their weekly press conferences.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said McRae "is probably as explosive a scorer from the wing as there is in our league" and Volunteers coach Cuonzo Martin said Henderson "is a threat at all times, whenever he touches the ball." Both shooters have a strong supporting cast, including Henderson's backcourt mate Jarvis Summers, who is shooting over 50 percent from the floor. The frontcourt duo of Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon has helped Tennessee dominate the boards in league play.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, SEC TV, ESPN3
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI (14-5, 5-1 SEC): Henderson averages 18.7 points and is third in the country with 4.19 made 3-pointers per game, and Summers adds 18 points per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 55 percent from deep. Forward Aaron Jones adds seven points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game as the Rebels lead the league with 7.1 blocks. Freshman forward Sebastian Saiz has three 11-rebound performances in his last nine games and is averaging 6.1 points and 7.8 boards in that span.
ABOUT TENNESSEE (12-7, 3-3): McRae's average fell to 18.5 points after that five-point performance in a 67-41 loss at Florida, and the senior leads the team with 51 assists and 19 blocks. Stokes (13.6 points, 9.7 rebounds) and Maymon (11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds) have helped Tennessee to a plus-10 rebounding margin in league play. The Volunteers are averaging 73 points but have been held to an average of 54.3 points in their three league losses.
1. Henderson, who has attempted at least 10 3-pointers in all four of his SEC games, has hit a trey in 52 straight games, the third-longest streak in SEC history behind Arkansas' Pat Bradley (60) and Vanderbilt's John Jenkins (59).
2. Ole Miss is 12-3 when committing 15 or fewer turnovers while Tennessee is ranked last in the SEC with a minus-5.3 turnover margin in conference games.
3. Stokes (13 points, 10.8 rebounds) is one of four players from a major conference averaging a double-double in league play (with Kentucky's Julius Randle, California's Richard Solomon and Oklahoma's Ryan Spangler).
PREDICTION: Mississippi 70, Tennessee 60