By David Brandt/The Associated Press
OXFORD — Marshall Henderson scored 31 points, Murphy Holloway added 24 and Ole Miss cruised to a 93-75 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday night.
Mississippi State scored the game’s first basket, but then Ole Miss (18-4, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) reeled off 19 straight points and was never seriously challenged the rest of the evening.
The win snapped a two-game skid for the Rebels. Henderson scored just five points in the first half but hit five 3-pointers in the second half to help Ole Miss stay far out of Mississippi State’s reach. Holloway shot 9 of 12 from the field and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
The Rebels shot 30 of 59 (51 percent) from the field.
Mississippi State (7-14, 2-7) has lost seven straight. Craig Sword led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
Mississippi State scored the first basket of the game on a Gavin Ware putback, but that’s pretty much where the good news ended.
Ole Miss scored the next 19 points, driving to the basket at will against the Bulldogs’ half-court defense. Holloway was particularly good, hitting all six of his shots in the first half as the Rebels pushed out to a 42-23 lead by halftime.
Mississippi State tried to mount a rally in the second half, but every time the Bulldogs made some headway, Ole Miss answered. The Bulldogs cut the lead down to 75-65 on a Fred Thomas 3-pointer with 3:44 remaining, but Henderson responded with his sixth 3-pointer of the night.
Henderson had a quiet first half with just five points but got going after the break, hitting five 3-pointers to help stave off every Mississippi State rally. He easily topped his SEC-leading scoring average of 19.5 points per game, making 8 of 18 shots from the field, including 6 of 14 from 3-point range. He also made 9 of 10 free throws.
Reginald Buckner scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked five shots. Jarvis Summers added 11 points.
Ole Miss played its second straight game without guard Nick Williams, who is battling a foot injury. The fifth-year senior is averaging close to 10 points per game. Kennedy has said he expects Williams back soon — possibly in time for Saturday’s game at Missouri.
Mississippi State’s losing streak has now spanned more than three weeks, and the same problems — turnovers, spotty shooting and porous half-court defense — keep holding the Bulldogs back.
Mississippi State did shoot 18 of 32 (56.3 percent) from the field in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the big hole the Bulldogs dug in the first half.
Jalen Steele scored 15 points and Fred Thomas added 13 points and six rebounds. The Bulldogs had 17 turnovers.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy now has 143 career wins, which is just one behind B.L. Graham for the school record.
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