CONWAY, S.C. – Marshall Henderson had 19 points as he returned from the first part of his suspension to lead Ole Miss to a 72-70 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday night.
Ole Miss (2-0) needed the senior back. The Rebels led just 60-58 with 4:03 to go when Henderson buried a 3-pointer. Then after the Rebels missed a shot on the next possession, he stole a pass in the backcourt and dunked it to put Ole Miss up 65-58 with just over three minutes to go.
After the dunk, Henderson finally showed the theatrics that made him a villain on the road last year, screaming and waving his arms.
But the game wasn’t over yet. Henderson’s teammates would miss five of their next eight free throws and Henderson got the ball stolen from him as he tried to dribble around several players with Ole Miss up 66-61 with 1:24 left.
Coastal Carolina (1-2) had a chance to tie with nine seconds left, but Josh Cameron’s 3-point attempt rattled in and out. Anthony Perez then hit two free throws, making Cameron’s 3 at the buzzer meaningless.
Henderson’s 19 points led all scorers. He was 6-of-16 from the field and 4-of-8 on 3-pointers. He had four steals, three turnovers and no assists.
Cameron scored 16 for Coastal Carolina, making three of his seven 3-pointers. Warren Gillis also had 16 points before fouling out late.
Jarvis Summers scored 14 points and Derrick Millinghaus added 12 points for Ole Miss.
The Rebels hit just 24 of 40 attempts from the foul line, but shot 16 more free throws and made 11 more foul shots than the Chanticleers.
Henderson was suspended from the reigning Southeastern Conference tournament champions in July after police found him with small amounts of marijuana and cocaine during a traffic stop, though he was not arrested.
Henderson missed the opening win against Troy and will also have to sit out the Rebels’ first two Southeastern Conference games against Auburn and Mississippi State in January. He did get to practice with the team during his suspension.
The senior was booed whenever he touched the ball. Henderson didn’t start, but came in with 17:02 left. He stole the ball immediately, but had his dunk blocked. The next time down the court, he buried a 3-pointer off a pass.
Henderson was rusty to start, missing his next six shots and going just 1-of-7 from the field in the first half. He made five of his nine shots in the second half, including three of five 3s.
He barely taunted the crowd of 3,421 in Coastal Carolina’s 2-year-old HTC Center for most of the game, just smirking at the students after he buried one from behind the arc.
Coastal Carolina is no stranger to big upsets. In the past three years, they have beaten LSU and Clemson two times each.