We have heard for a year and a half about the skill set of Anthony Perez, and today it showed up.
Perez had a team-high 22 points on 5-for-9 and a 10-for-12 night at the free throw line.
He was particularly aggressive in the second half in getting to the rim.
South Carolina’s size bothered Ole Miss in the first half, but the Rebels were more aggressive in the second and converted on 28-of-37 free throw attempts for the game.
After the Rebels were solid in the post against LSU this game was more of a struggle, and South Carolina was plus-9 on the boards.
Foul trouble was a problem for Ole Miss as Aaron Jones picked up his fourth early in the second half and spent mot of the half on the bench. Sebastian Saiz, the hero against LSU, and Jones both fouled out after playing only 15 minutes.
Carolina was determined that Marshall Henderson would not go off in Columbia the way he did against LSU. They pursued Henderson aggressively throughout the game, but Henderson hit a couple of big shots, one from inside the arc and one from outside, as Ole Miss quickly erased 10-point halftime deficit.
“We lost Henderson, we lost him” South Carolina coach Frank Martin said. “He hits a couple of big shots, then all of a sudden you’ve got a guy like that who’s in attack mode.”
Henderson finished with 19 points but was only 5-for-17 from the floor, 3-for-12 from 3. He was 6-for-7 from the free throw line, and his miss turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes in the game. He had he hit his second free throw with 37 seconds on the clock, Ole Miss would have had a six-point lead. Henderson missed it, and with barely any time running off the clock, Perez fouled Sindarius Thornwell, Carolina’s best player.
Thornwell connected twice. Instead of Ole Miss being up 75-69 after what could have been a second made free throw, It was suddenly 74-71, a one-possession game, and the stage was set for the frantic finish.
From that point, Ole Miss got a free throw from LaDarius White but with a four-point lead fouled Carolina’s Brenton Williams on a 3-point attempt. He hit all three free throws to make it 75-74 with six seconds left.
Henderson was unable to throw the ball in-bounds. His pass to mid-court resulted in a turnover, but 4.2 seconds ran off the clock after the ball went out of bounds off Ole Miss. Carolina had 1.8 seconds to throw it in from halfcourt and convert and couldn’t do it and Thornwell missed.
Thornwell was 4-for-7 from 3 and led all scorers with 24 points.
Jarvis Summers had 19 points, most of it at the free throw line where he was 9-for-13. He was 5-for-9 from the floor. He did not attempt a 3-pointer and spent most of the game trying to get to the rim. He was bothered by Carolina’s size in the first half but had more luck in the second.
After Perez, Henderson and Summers, nobody else from Ole Miss had more than four points, including LaDarius White, who had only three points on 1-for-7 shooting.
Ole Miss hit some shots early and got out to an 18-12 lead. The Gamecocks closed on a 25-9 run over the last 9 minutes, 43 seconds.
Carolina is guarding Jarvis Summers with some bigger bodies, and it seems to be bothering him as he tries to get to the rim. He’s 2-for-4 with seven poitns. HEnderson is 1-for-8, 1-for-5 from 3.
South Carolina is shooting just 37.5 percent, but it’s getting some good looks in the paint whether the Rebels are in zone or man. Carolina is plus-9 on the glass right now.
After falling behind the Gamecocks started to push the ball down the floor. Ole Miss has had some good defensive trips in transition.
No real offensive presence from the Ole Miss frontcourt like we saw against LSU. Sebastian Saiz has two points, hitting his only field goal attempt.
A little shootaround video as Ole Miss gets ready for South Carolina. The video include a guest appearance by South Carolina freshman student Abby Hunt, of Tupelo. She’s not actually in the shootaround but did come by and say hello. Marshall Henderson is in the video. He was booed by South Carolina students after they asked him to dunk, and he shot a pull-up jumper. Intros in about 35 minutes.