Doing it with defense

From the Mother Ship, our take on the Rebels’ 69-59 win over Texas A&M. Ole Miss picked up a third win against the RPI top 50. The Rebels’ RPI this morning is 42 according to ESPN’s simulated rankings. The official NCAA RPI had Ole Miss at No. 48 going into the Texas A&M game.

The theme for the night was defense. The Rebels found a way to win in spite of horrid shooting from two of their key offensive players, LaDarius White and Jarvis Summers.

White hit a big 3-pointer in the second half, his made shot of the game.

While White and Summers struggled the big shots came from Terence Smith at the end of the first half and M.J. Rhett at key parts in the second half. The two post-grad transfers didn’t make a big immediate impact, but they are rounding into form, especially Smith.

It was really a grind-it-out win with defense. It wasn’t that Ole Miss kept A&M from getting open looks. The Aggies got quite a few of those and, like Ole Miss, didn’t knock them down. Defense for Ole Miss was more about getting hands in the lane.

Ole Miss forced 16 turnovers and had 11 steals. Any time the Aggies were in the lane there were hands swiping at the ball. Sometimes the pace of officiating makes that difficult, but last night it worked to the Rebels’ favor.

More in the notebook here including an item on the return of former Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury to Tad Smith.

Stansbury was greeted warmly by several folks as he made his way to the bench. Ole Miss students taunted him a little but really not much until late in the game when the Rebels had things in hand.

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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