OXFORD – Any thoughts Jacksonville State had of upsetting No. 16-ranked Ole Miss were shot down by Terrico White.
Make that blasted.
The Rebels’ sophomore guard scored a career-high 29 points and hit a career-best seven 3-pointers, six in the second half against the visiting Gamecocks’ zone, to lead his team to a 90-75 victory Tuesday night before 4,531 at Tad Smith Coliseum.
“I’ve been working on my shot after practice, the 2s and the 3s,” White said. “It carried over to the game tonight.”
White connected on four of his 3-balls in the opening nine minutes of the second half to help Ole Miss (11-2) build a 71-50 lead against its Ohio Valley Conference opponent.
Jacksonville State (5-6), coached by former Ingomar High School and Ole Miss standout James Green, trailed just 42-36 at halftime.
“Every time we tried to make a little run, Ole Miss answered,” Green said. “I thought we were a little timid and didn’t finish plays around the basket.”
The Rebels, who return to their home court Tuesday against Central Florida, continued to pour it on offensively and expanded their lead to 25 points, 78-53, on layup by Murphy Holloway with under 10 minutes left.
Ole Miss tied a school record with its 14 3-pointers on 31 attempts.
“We played real well in stretches, but lost our intensity at times,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “We were playing the scoreboard instead of the game.
“Obviously we shot the ball well,” he continued. “These are games coaches hate, the ones after a break. It’s hard to keep 17, 18, 19 year olds focused … but we did some good things.”
Ole Miss came out firing from the perimeter in the first half, hitting five 3-pointers, including two by Trevor Gaskins to race to a 20-4 lead in the opening eight minutes.
The Rebels actually pushed their lead to 21 points, 35-14 with 7:17 showing on a 3-pointer by Chris Warren.
Jacksonville State, which didn’t score its first field goal until the 12:51 mark of the first half, came roaring back. The visitors outscored the Rebels 32-22 after being down 20-4 to pull within six points, 42-36 at halftime.
The Rebels, who dropped a disappointing 76-66 decision on the road last week to No. 6 West Virginia, and Gamecocks were pretty much even in all facets of the game in the first 20 minutes.
Ole Miss had a slight edge in rebounding 22-19 while Jacksonville State committed four turnovers to the Rebels’ three.
Trenton Marshall paced the Gamecocks with 20 points.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal