By David Brandt/The Associated Press
OXFORD — Marshall Henderson scored 18 points, Murphy Holloway added 16 and Ole Miss beat Texas A&M 82-73 Wednesday night.
Ole Miss (21-7, 10-5 Southeastern Conference) earned another crucial win as it tries to solidify a case for the NCAA tournament. The Rebels haven’t been to the Big Dance since 2002 — the longest drought in the SEC.
Henderson hit five of his six 3-pointers in the second half to help the Rebels pull away after leading 37-31 at halftime. Jarvis Summers scored 15 points and Reginald Buckner added 12 points and three blocked shots.
Elston Turner led Texas A&M (16-12, 6-9) with 25 points. Turner had another good game against Ole Miss, hitting 10 of 17 shots from the field just two weeks after scoring 37 against the Rebels in a win at College Station. The son of former Ole Miss star Elston Turner Sr., the 6-foot-5 senior had 12 points in the first half alone to keep the game close.
The Rebels played with an edge reminiscent of their early season success, with Henderson hitting 3-pointers and screaming, Holloway getting easy buckets on dunks and Buckner patrolling the paint with big blocks and rebounds.
Texas A&M jumped out to an early 12-5 lead after a 3-pointer by Turner with 15:33 remaining, but Ole Miss fought back to eventually take a 37-31 halftime lead.
The Rebels got some good minutes early from their young and inexperienced bench. Anthony Perez had five points and Martavious Newby added three more in the first half, but Perez was hurt while going for a rebound in the second half and didn’t return.
Ole Miss slowly pulled away in the second half. Henderson and Summers hit back-to-back 3-pointers and then Nick Williams made a putback after a free throw to give the Rebels a 53-42 lead with 12:41 left.
Ole Miss led by as many as 18 in the second half. Texas A&M pulled within 76-67 with 1:44 left, but ran out of time to make a serious run.
Henderson didn’t have a great shooting night, making just 6 of 19 shots from the field, including 6 of 13 from 3-point range. But his good shots came during a crucial run that turned a tight game into a fairly easily win.
Ole Miss shot 29 of 57 (50.9 percent) from the field. Texas A&M shot 30 of 56 (53.6 percent) from the field, but had 16 turnovers.
Fabyon Harris scored 17 points off the bench for the Aggies. Kourtney Roberson added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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