Graham leads Ole Miss past Murray State 77-61

OXFORD — Zach Graham scored a career-high 22 points and Nick Williams added 21 as Ole Miss cruised to a 77-61 victory over Murray State on Wednesday night.

Graham, a 6-foot-6 senior, made 6 of 11 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. He was also 7 of 7 from the free-throw line.

Williams, a transfer from Indiana playing just his second game with the Rebels, made 7 of 10 from the field. The 6-foot-4 sophomore added six rebounds and two assists.

Ole Miss (2-0) made 22 of 23 free throws (95.7 percent) and led by as many as 23 late in the second half.

The Rebels dominated in the paint, outscoring the Racers 34-17 and outrebounding them 39-30. Sophomore Reggie Buckner blocked three shots.

Murray State (1-1), which returned three starters from a team that made the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, shot just 30.2 percent from the field (16 of 53) and trailed 34-23 at halftime. Isaiah Canaan led the Racers with 15 points. Donte Poole added 12 and Jeffrey McClain scored 11.

The Racers jumped out to an early six-point lead, but fought foul trouble throughout the game. Ole Miss went on a 11-0 run midway through the first half to take a 21-14 lead and the Rebels never trailed again. Graham and Williams scored a combined seven points during that crucial run.

Chris Warren’s school-record streak of 46 straight games with a 3-pointer ended. The Mississippi senior finished with 10 points. He missed all four of his attempts from beyond the arc — including one in the final seconds.

Ole Miss is now 39-1 at home in non-conference games under fifth-year coach Andy Kennedy. The Rebels are 19-5 all-time against teams from the Ohio Valley Conference.

Read more in the NEMS Daily Journal Thursday.

David Brandt/The Associated Press