Here’s Andy Kennedy:
Ole Miss led by 19 in the second half early, but Alabama chipped away. Every time the Tide got near single-digits Ole Miss seemed to have an answer.
Then Alabama went 3-point crazy in the final 2 minutes. I had them going 6-for-8 from 3 in the final 1:56. This is a team that shoots 30.6 percent from 3 in SEC play.
Overall, it was a strong defensive effort from Ole Miss. You’ve got to at some point stop those shots at the end, but Alabama was in frantic mode and as Murphy Holloway said was hitting shots they wouldn’t take in the regular course of play.
Marshall Henderson led all scorers with 24 points. He was much more efficient than he was at MSU, this time going 6-for-13 from the floor, 3-for-7 from 3. He did a good job of getting to the rim when the 3-point shot wasn’t there and thus was 9-for-11 from the free throw line.
The free throw line was where the Rebels left the door open, particularly with Jarvis Summers missing three of his first four attempts — twice the front end of 1-and-1s — as the second half ticked away. Summers rebounded. With the ball in his hands he kept getting fouled and finished 10-for-14 from the line, one of four Ole Miss players in double figures with 14 points.
A big night for LaDarius White with 17 points, and Derrick Millinghaus was 3-for-4 from the arc and finished with 11 points.
Alabama shot 38.5 percent in the first half, 47.5 in the second, most of that surge coming in the last 2 minutes.
The lead had been 14 for Ole Miss before Alabama cut that in half and the Rebels surged again.
A lot more man defense for the Rebels tonight, and it’s been mostly effective. At times they’ve left shooters, and has cost them, but that’s a fair trade for the energy that was missing in Starkville.
LaDarius White is really looking good on offense, 4-for-5 shooting, some good decisions like passing up a fairly open 3 and making a very athletic move to finish at the rim.
Marshall Henderson got off to a slow start but adapted his game later, putting the ball on the floor. He’s got 12 points, 2-for-5 from 3.
Henderson started tonight after coming off the bench for the previous three games.
Alabama was shooting in the 20s early in the half but has upped that to 38.5 percent. Ole Miss is shooting 50 percent.
Terry Brutus has had some nice defensive minutes off the bench, and Reggie Buckner has been active defensively in the paint.
That defense has held Alabama guard Trevor Releford to three points on 1-for-2 shooting. He averages 15.4 points.
Ole Miss has tried to go to Buckner offensively, and there have been mixed results. He’s got four points on 2-for-4 shooting.
A little shootaround video here:
In the background you can see freshman forward Anthony Perez shooting 3s. He’s got a sleeve on the left knee. After the knee buckled in the Rebels’ last home game I was surprised to see Perez listed as day to day with an MCL sprain. It looked ugly when he went down, and Perez was demonstrative with the pain.
No other surprises in the pre-game. You can tell from the video that there aren’t many students here. That could change. We’re still about 30 minutes from intros.