By Brett Martel/The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. — Marshall Henderson scored 22 points, and Ole Miss clinched a double-bye in the Southeastern Conference tournament with an 81-67 victory over LSU on Saturday.
Murphy Holloway scored 16 points, Jarvis Summers added 15 and Nick Williams 11 for Ole Miss (23-8, 12-6 Southeastern Conference), which will be one of the top four seeds in the league tournament next week.
Johnny O’Bryant III had 17 points and 12 rebounds for LSU (18-11, 9-9), which needed a victory to finish higher than the eighth seed and avoid a potential quarterfinal pairing with league-leading Florida. Andre Stringer scored 18 for the Tigers.
LSU absorbed an early blow when Carmouche, who had scored 20 or more in five of six games coming in, landed hard on his left side on a drive the hoop. He returned after receiving treatment in the locker room, but finished with only eight points.
Ole Miss led by as many as 19 after a 14-4 run that included a pair of inside baskets by Terry Brutus and Henderson’s 3. LaDarius White’s free throw closed out the surge, making it 60-41 with 11:24 to go.
LSU put together several mini-runs after that, pulling to 64-54 with 6:22 left after Stringer’s consecutive driving floaters.
The Tigers were still within 10 with about five minutes to go, and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center crowd was beginning to come alive again in hopes of inspiring one last push. Then Henderson silenced them with a 3 from up top, and the Tigers never threatened again.
Mississippi finished shooting 52.5 percent (31 of 59), compared to 41.1 percent (23 of 56) for LSU. The Rebels also outrebounded the Tigers 37-31.
Carmouche missed 10 minutes of the first half, during which he scored only two points and the Tigers turned the ball over seven times. LSU also struggled to slow down Mississippi, which shot 54.3 percent (19 of 35) through the opening 20 minutes.
Early on, the game appeared less physical than a typical SEC game, with neither team taking more than five foul shots before halftime. That allowed Holloway and fellow Ole Miss big man Reginald Buckner to stay out of the early foul trouble that had plagued them recently.
Holloway nearly reached his season average of 14.6 points in the first half when his dunk shortly before the horn gave him 14 and gave the Rebels their largest lead to that point at 43-30. Williams hit his first four shots, including one 3, and had nine points by halftime.
A key stretch in the game came after O’Bryant’s basket inside had given LSU an early 21-13 lead. Mississippi then responded with a 19-2 run over the next 6:09, with Holloway scoring three times — twice on dunks — and Henderson adding a 3. Summers capped the spurt with a jumper that made it 32-23 with 4:53 to go in the period.