OXFORD, Miss. | In the long run, it was a small step but it at least was a step out of the grave for the postseason hopes of Alabama basketball.

 The Crimson Tide took its first victory in Oxford since 2009, rolling over the Ole Miss Rebels 103-78.

 The game featured four technical fouls, including two on Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis, who took an early trip to the Pavilion showers after picking up his second technical with over 14 minutes to play. Alabama coach Nate Oats and Ole Miss star Breein Tyree also picked up technicals in a sudden flurry of SEC officials standing for no nonsense.

 Tyree fouled out with 8:50 remaining, having scored 26 points, and his departure stifled any slim hopes of a Rebel comeback.

 Ole Miss (13-14, 4-10 SEC) never made a dramatic run after that with Alabama building its lead to as many as 25 points by the final buzzer.

 Five Alabama players finished in double figures, led by John Petty’s 21 points. Kira Lewis recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. Jaden Shackelford scored 18 points and Alex Reese and Javian Davis each had 12 points.

 Alabama (15-12, 7-7 SEC)  started slowly for a second straight game, falling behind 9-2. But the Crimson Tide erased that deficit with a 12-0 run and remained in control for the rest of the half, pushing the lead to as many as 15 points, 39-24 with 3:12 remaining. UA held a 45-31 lead at intermission thanks to shooting 55 percent (18 of 33) from the floor.

 “We showed a lot more energy in the game after the first couple of minutes,”Oats said. “We had 25 assists on 37 field goals.

 “But the main thing was to hold the lead. We’ve been in that situation before and we’ve lost the lead too many times — up 15 on Tennessee, up 12-0 on Arkansas and up 21 at Florida and we lose all those games. So we got together in the SC d half and I told them, “Guys, we are not losing this game, so go out and get some defensive stops.”

 For the game, Alabama made 37 of 66 field goals, including 13 of 29 3-pointers.

 “Give Alabama a ton of credit,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “They just beat us in every area. We chased them, we didn’t guard them. We’ll follow SEC protocol (on officiating) and send in all the clips … to the conference office.

 “That’s not taking anything away from Alabama. They were terrific.”

 The 103 points were the most scored by Alabama in a regulation SEC game since the Crimson Tide’s 109-94 victory over Arkansas in 2002.

 The Crimson Tide will have a short turnaround for the next leg of its two-game Mississippi road swing, facing Mississippi State in Starkville on Thursday night.

 

 Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or via Twitter, @cecilhurt

 

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