Sharp, Hamilton help Western Kentucky beat Ole Miss 71-48

ATLANTA (AP) — Jamarion Sharp had 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, Jairus Hamilton had 13 points and 12 boards and Western Kentucky never trailed as the Hilltoppers beat Mississippi 71-48 on Saturday night at the Holiday Hoopsgiving.

Sharp, who shot 8 of 10 from the field, and Josh Alexander each scored 10 points in the first half to help Western Kentucky take a 34-19 lead into the break. Sharp made the first of his back-to-back baskets in an 11-0 run to make it 20-10 with 8:11 left in the first and the Hilltoppers led by double figures the rest of the way.

Alexander finished with 13 points, shooting 5 of 5 from the field and 3 of 3 from the free-throw line. Luke Frampton added 12 points for Western Kentucky (6-4).

Jarkel Joiner had 13 points and Nysier Brooks scored 10 for the Rebels.

Ole Miss (6-2) was riding a four-game win streak that included a 67-63 victory over then-No. 18 Memphis last Saturday. Tye Fagan spun through the lane and wrapped a pass around a help defender to Sammy Hunter for a two-hand dunk that made it 11-10 about 8 minutes into the game but the Rebels went scoreless for the next 6-plus minutes and finished the half at 24% (7 of 29) from the field.

The 7-foot-5 Sharp, a junior college transfer and the tallest player in Division I this season, went into the game ranked No. 2 nationally in total blocks (42) and blocks per game (4.7). After coming off the bench in the first four games, Sharp has started each of the last six contests and is averaging 10.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.3 blocks while shooting 80.5% (29 of 36) from the field.

Ole Miss set season lows for points and field-goal percentage (27.4).

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