By R.B. Fallstorm/The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Six minutes into the second half Saturday, Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson stole the ball near halfcourt and headed for a fastbreak layup. It didn’t go in, but Derrick Millinghaus grabbed the rebound underneath the basket without any Missouri defender within 5 feet.
Problem was, he didn’t realize his good fortune. He dribbled out of the lane then missed a turnaround 15-footer. The Rebels trailed 64-46 at the time, and coach Andy Kennedy yelled at his team in one of many signs of frustration during Mississippi’s 98-79 loss to the 21st-ranked Tigers.
The Rebels (18-5, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) trailed by 16 points at halftime and close to 20 points throughout the second half.
Ole Miss whipped then-No. 10 Missouri 64-49 at home on Jan. 12, but gave up 50 points in the first half of the rematch and was outrebounded 50-32.
Henderson had 16 points on 4-for-15 shooting for Mississippi, which was on the verge of cracking the Top 25 last week but has lost three of four. Jarvis Summers also had 16 points while Murphy Holloway, coming off a career-best 24 points, was held to seven in 30 minutes.
“You throw a couple of baskets together, and all of a sudden, it’s 10, 12 (points), put a little game pressure on them, then we can make some adjustments,” Kennedy said. “We never got to that point. And any time they did miss shots — which was not often — (Alex) Oriakhi just got them all.”
The game got testy with about 7 1-2 minutes to go when Reginald Buckner apparently was tripped by Oriakhi after the Tigers scored to make it 80-58 and came up swinging with a couple of wild punches that missed Laurence Bowers as Oriakhi danced away.
Buckner was ejected, leaving the court with a towel draped over his right shoulder and then tossing the towel into the stands after finishing with nine points and four rebounds. Oriakhi was called for a flagrant foul, plus Brown, Bowers and Holloway were whistled for technicals.
Kennedy said he didn’t see the altercation, and doesn’t know when the league office will determine what actions it takes with the players involved.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I’ve never been in this situation. I would hope to know sooner rather than later. I wouldn’t assume today, but I would assume by early next week.”
Oriakhi had a career-high 22 points to go with 18 rebounds and three blocks.
“Once he gets rolling, he starts talking a little bit. I guess that’s to help him out a little bit,” Mississippi’s Nick Williams said. “But he did what he had to do. He had, what, 22 and 18? So you know, you talk all you want to. He just did what he had to do out there. He was big, he was physical and he punked us.”
Williams returned after missing two games with a foot injury and scored nine points on 4-for-14 shooting.
“I felt great,” he said. “Probably the healthiest I’ve been since late November.”
Phil Pressey had four assists to break Anthony Peeler’s career school record and had 22 points for Missouri (17-6, 6-4), which bounced back nicely from its latest discouraging road loss, a 1-point setback at Texas A&M on Thursday. The Tigers are 14-0 at home and 0-5 on the road.
“If they would have hung their heads, and they would have said, ‘Woe is me,’ then obviously the outcome might have been a little bit different,” Kennedy said. “They didn’t, they came in, they did what they were supposed to do, 48 hours later they feel pretty good. The loss for them versus Texas A&M was worth one, just like today is for us.”
Missouri matched its season best with 12 3-pointers, four by Pressey and three each by Keion Bell and Jabari Brown. Bell added 21 points and Brown had 14.
Pressey, a junior, has 499 assists in three seasons, one more than Peeler totaled from 1988-92. He leads the SEC at 7.1 assists per game and finished with four assists and one turnover, one game after committing seven turnovers and missing a potential game-winning shot at Texas A&M.
The 50-point first half was a season best for Missouri.
After Brown’s 3-pointer with 7:07 to go in the half, Missouri was up 38-18 and had more 3-pointers (7) than Mississippi had baskets (6). Pressey was just 4 for 13 overall, but hit his first three 3-pointers to fuel the fast start.
Mississippi shot itself out of the game, at 38 percent overall and 2 for 9 from 3-point range. Coming off a career-best 24-point game against Mississippi State, Holloway was scoreless until 6½ minutes to go and totaled two points in the half.
“It’s tough, man,” Williams said. “I think it’s tough when Murphy gets only one rebound. I think it’s tough when Reggie gets ejected. I think it’s tough when I come back off of injury. I think it’s tough when everybody on our team is not doing our job. We’re a team, and when one person goes down, the next person has to step up. So that’s what we have to do.”