By The Associated Press
OXFORD — LaDarius White scored 16 points in his season debut Saturday to lift Ole Miss to an 80-56 win over Mississippi Valley State.
White, a freshman guard, became eligible earlier in the day after completing first semester academic requirements and clearance from the NCAA. He hit 6 of 12 from the field, including four from 3-point range.
Ole Miss (8-1) had five players to score in double figures, led by White. Dundrecous Nelson had 12 points, Reginald Buckner scored 11 points with 10 rebounds,, and Murphy Holloway and Terrance Henry added 10 points apiece.
Paul Crosby scored 16 points, Falondo Jones had 13 and Terrance Joyner added 12 for Mississippi Valley State (1-8). The Delta Devils led 16-15 after the opening 10 minutes.
Ole Miss answered with a decisive 17-0 run, including four 3-point shots from Ladarius White, to take a 32-16 lead with 2:48 remaining. Mississippi Valley State never got closer than 16 points again.
Ole Miss led 41-22 at halftime and led by as many 26 points in the second half. The Rebels improved to 34-0 all-time against Southwestern Athletic Conference teams.
The Delta Devils shot 19 of 64 from the field (29.7 percent) and managed only 11 of 22 (50 percent) from the free throw line.
Ole Miss was 29 of 55 (52.7 percent) from the field, including 8 of 18 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range. The Rebels outrebounded Mississippi Valley State 48-30 and blocked a school-record 12 shots, including six from Buckner.
The Rebels are also expected to add Jalen Kendrick to complete their roster Monday. Kendrick, a freshman transfer forward from Memphis, is the first Parade All-American selection to play at Ole Miss.
Kendrick completed his academic requirements Friday and should be cleared by the NCAA before Wednesday’s home date with Louisiana Lafayette.
Read more about this game in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.