OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy had used the same lineup for five straight games, and LaDarius White had been part of the first five for 12 straight games.
That changed Saturday when Kennedy sat White, nicknamed Snoop, in favor of sophomore Anthony Perez.
“Snoop is our X factor,” Kennedy said. “I started Anthony today to try and flip Snoop’s mojo a little bit. We need more. He can give us more.”
White responded with 12 points and four rebounds. He had two steals, taking one of them near halfcourt and driving hard to the rim for a bucket to bring the Rebels to within two points at 66-64 with 4 minutes, 50 seconds to play.
Perez had a career-high 22 at South Carolina two weeks ago. He finished with seven points on 2-for-3 shooting, all from 3-point range.
Tough on glass
South Carolina was plus 10 on the glass marking the second-straight game the Rebels have been out-rebounded by a double-digit margin.
Ole Miss had a rebounding advantage in wins over Mississippi State and Vanderbilt its previous two games.
The Gamecocks were led by 6-foot-5 forward Michael Carrera, who had 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Sebastian Saiz led Ole Miss with six rebounds.
Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson was 2-for-9 from 3-point range following his 8-for-19 performance at Tennessee.
Henderson has hit at least one 3-pointer in 54 straight games.
Since going 6-for-12 from the arc against LSU, Henderson has hit 18 of his last 62 attempts (29 percent).
“I know Marshall Henderson gets beat up a lot, but he’s one of my favorite players … his charisma, his enthusiasm, the way he elevates his team in difficult moments. It stinks to lose, but when you respect the guy that won the way I respect A.K. … I’m extremely happy for him.” – South Carolina coach Frank Martin.