SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Murphy Holloway scored a career-high 26 points Thursday afternoon to lead Ole Miss to an 89-71 win over the Indiana Hoosiers (2-1) in the first round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
The Rebels (3-0) advance to play the Kansas State (3-0), an 80-70 winner against Boston University on Thursday night. Tipoff today is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be seen on ESPNU.
The game will match Andy Kennedy of Ole Miss against “one of my dear friends,” Frank Martin of K-State.
“A lot of people don’t like to play against their friends,” Kennedy said. “I’m the opposite way. I like to play against my friends, because then I know at least one good guy’s going to win.”
The 89 points by Ole Miss were the most scored by a team in the three-year history of the event, surpassing Missouri’s 87 in a game last season.
The Rebels had 12 blocked shots – one shy of the school record – and eight steals in the first-round win.
“We have some experienced guards and made some adjustments and come away with the first win in the history of our program against Indiana,” Kennedy said.
Indiana led 20-11 after the first six minutes of play before a 22-3 Ole Miss run for a 33-23 advantage. The Rebels led 45-36 at halftime.
“We knew we had to turn it on,” Holloway said. “We knew we were a better team than what we were playing like, so we came to the sideline and regrouped. They came out and hit us in the mouth, and I think we responded very well.”
Holloway scored 19 points in the second half.
“We tried to get Murph behind the zone, because they got so extended on the perimeter,Kennedy said. “It opened up some opportunities behind the zone. Polynice did a great job of penetrating and developing scoring opportunities for Murph.”
Holloway had seven rebounds to go with his career high in points, which surpassed his previous high of 18 set last year against Tennessee. Chris Warren helped with 16 points, while Eniel Polynice and Zach Graham chipped in 10 points apiece. Polynice dished out seven assists, and Reginald Buckner grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds.
The Rebels out-rebounded the Hoosiers 46-43 and scored 28 second-chance points to IU’s 15. Led by Graham’s 10 points, Ole Miss’ bench out-scored Indiana’s by a 25-9 margin.
NEMS Daily Journal, wire reports