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Rainbows at the end of Island trip

For the first time ever, Ole Miss will play basketball on Christmas Day.

The Rebels face Hawaii on its home court on Tuesday in their finale at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Both teams are 1-1 at the tournament, with Ole Miss owning a win over San Francisco and an opening-round loss to Indiana State. Hawaii lost to Miami on Day 1 of the tourney but bounced back to defeat East Tennessee State on Sunday.

Tuesday's championship game will pit No. 4 Arizona versus No. 18 San Diego State.

Ole Miss is 9-2 on the season, while Hawaii owns a record of 6-4.

The Rebels have found themselves having to come from behind in their first two games in Hawaii. On Sunday, Ole Miss trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before mounting a successful comeback thanks in large part to 23 points from senior Murphy Holloway. Indiana State led the Rebels by 11 points at the half on Saturday, as an effort by Marshall Henderson to shoot Ole Miss to a comeback fell short.

Hawaii should offer Ole Miss a stiff test, considering the Rainbows will be playing in front of their own fans on their home floor. And while Hawaii’s 6-4 record doesn’t sparkle, two of the Rainbows’ four losses have come against nationally-ranked opponents in No. 10 Illinois and No. 21 UNLV.

The game will be televised by ESPNU with tip-off set for 2:30 p.m. CST Christmas Day.

Ole Miss returns home on Jan. 4 to face Fordham before opening SEC play on the road at Tennessee on Jan. 9.

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