STARKVILLE – Humphrey Coliseum continues to be a house of horrors for Ole Miss.
The Rebels dropped its fifth straight contest 76-72 on Mississippi State’s home floor on Saturday. Andy Kennedy has just one win in Starkville during his eight years as Ole Miss’ head coach and fell to 5-10 against the Bulldogs all-time.
MSU, on the other hand, has now claimed 23 of the last 31 games in the series and improved to 93-24 against the Rebels in Starkville.
“I thought our crowd (8,841) was tremendous,” said MSU coach Rick Ray. “I’ve always heard about how great an environment the Hump is but I had yet to see that. This was the first time I’ve come out and though the crowd was phenomenal. Our students are not back in school but the student section was pretty full. The regular fans, community and alumni don’t understand how important that is to our team.”
Freshman wide receiver De’Runnya Wilson was dressed in a MSU basketball sweat suit during pregame warm-ups and was on the Bulldogs bench during Saturday’s contest.
Ray stated following the game that there still had been no contact between he and football coach Dan Mullen about Wilson’s status walking on to the basketball team.
“I came in to talk to the team like I normally do and Bear is in there sitting down,” Ray said. “I just know he was there. There had been no communication with Dan. I just walked in and there’s a guy sitting there with dreads dressed in our warm-ups. I don’t know.”
The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder is a former three-time state basketball champion at Wenonah High School and last year’s Mr. Basketball for the state of Alabama averaging 18.4 points and 15.8 rebounds.
Missing Marshall Henderson, the Rebels had three players go for 15-plus points, led by 23 from Jarvis Summers.
He was 7-for-15 from the floor, 3-for-7 from 3-point range and 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Summers attempted half of the Rebels’ 12 free throws, compared to MSU’s 42 attempts.
Ole Miss guard Derrick Millinghaus blamed the free throw differential on the Rebels’ preparation.
“Some of us didn’t pay much attention on the scout, who the drivers and shooters were,” Millinghaus said. “We lost focus toward the end of the game. We had them, but they kept fighting.”
Production from Summers is not new.
Offense from LaDarius White and Millinghaus has been less consistent. Both put up points, although White was more efficient.
Millinghaus was 5-for-17 from the floor, 3-for-10 from the arc for 15 points. He also had seven rebounds, four assists and three turnovers in 37 minutes.
White was 6-for-11 from the floor, 3-for-6 from the arc for 16 points.
“I kept being aggressive and attacking the goal. I couldn’t get any shots up because they kept fouling me and I’d go to the line.” – MSU sophomore shooting guard Craig Sword, who scored all 15 of his points from the free throw line.
Ole Miss is at home Wednesday against LSU with an 8 p.m. tipoff. Mississippi State visits Alabama at 7 p.m.
Logan Lowery and Parrish Alford