OXFORD, Miss. (AP) Matthew Murrell scored 16 points and was a rebound shy of a double-double in leading Ole Miss to a 69-59 win over Alabama State on Monday night in coach Chris Beard's debut as the Rebels' head coach.

Robert Cowherd knocked down a 3 to pull the Hornets within four points, 40-36 and CJ Hines added a free throw a minute later to get within three, but Allen Flanigan answered with a 3 for Ole Miss. Micah Octave's 3 with 12:49 left got Alabama State within one, 45-44, but TJ Caldwell answered with back-to-back 3s and a layup and sparked a 6-0 run with under eight minutes to play with another pair of layups.

Jaylen Murray, Flanigan and Caldwell each added 15 points and Flanigan grabbed 12 of the Rebels' 52 rebounds.

CJ Hines and TJ Madlock each had 12 points and Amarr Knox added another 11 points to lead Alabama State.

Mississippi is 8-0 against Alabama State. The teams first met in the 1983 NIT tournament, with the Rebels earning an 87-75 win.

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