About Last Night

Notes and thoughts from the Rebels’ 93-75 win over Mississippi State …

In the end this was what is supposed to happen when a veteran team meets a young and inexperienced team. Maybe that’s what the Rebels understood too, and that contributed to their lethargy in the second half.

It’s disappointing that Ole Miss could so easily lose focus over the final 20 minutes when it could have dropped the hammer. Not that the Rebels needed to embarrass the in-state rival. It’s about playing sharp and determined for 40 minutes. This team hasn’t done that lately. Last week it had to do with quality of opponent. Last night it did not.

When Ole Miss was winning nine straight — six straight to start league play — the word “resilient” was often tossed around to describe what we were seeing. It’s a word that fits, but to be resilient means you’re overcoming adversity, and with a little more focus Ole Miss wouldn’t face as much adversity.

There was no reason for last night’s game to be a 10-point game with 3:44 left.

It was good to see Murphy Holloway reassert himself offensively. He needs to do that against a better opponent when the Rebels play at Missouri Saturday.

Marshall Henderson has been the Rebels’ most consistent scorer. Here’s what MSU coach Rick Ray had to say postgame, most of it about Henderson.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgRoNras2Wg&w=560&h=315]

Andy Kennedy clearly was not happy with his team in the postgame. He used the word “coast” or some variation of it I think three times in comments that lasted less than four minutes.

Ultimately, the Rebels were outrebounded by MSU. The Bulldogs had 14 offensive rebounds and out-scored Ole Miss 14-12 on second-chance points. That’s about effort.

Holloway had eight rebounds to go along with his 24 points. Reggie Buckner reached double figures for the firs time in a while with 12 points, but they’ve got to do a better job of keeping Missouri of the glass.

Martavious Newby did not play last night for what Kennedy called a coach’s decision. Earlier in the season Newby was suspended for a game for missing or being late to a team meal.

The rotation was eight people, and I thought Anthony Perez had his best minutes off the bench. He held his own down low with a rebound, an assist and a blocked shot with no turnovers. He also scored on a runner off the baseline.

Derrick Millinghaus had a solid night. He was big in the 11-0 run at the end of the first half getting two of his five assists and converting a three-point play then. He had a steal, six points and only one turnover in nine minutes.

Nick Williams was expected to play but didn’t. He could be a big lift for this team if they can get him back for Missouri.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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