By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Missouri kept Marshall Henderson from going off, but it was those other guys that were troublesome for the Tigers in their first conference road game as SEC members.
Murphy Holloway posted 22 points and eight rebounds and Ole Miss forced 19 turnovers en route to a 64-49 win before a sellout crowd of 9,173 at Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday night.
It was the Rebels’ (13-2, 2-0 SEC) first win over a top 10 team since beating No. 10 Kentucky here two years ago.
Ole Miss has won its first two SEC games for the first time in seven years.
Missouri played for the first time without senior post player Laurence Bowers, its leading scorer, who missed the game with a knee injury.
The Tigers looked like their scouting report did not include the strength and success Holloway has when going to his left. He took advantage.
“Once I got going I just kept going,” Holloway said. “I know they scouted me going left. It’s no secret, everybody knows it. You’ve just got to stop it.”
Missouri never really did.
Ole Miss had a 37-36 rebound edge against the Tigers, who were plus-11.2 per game on the glass going in.
The Rebels didn’t score in bunches early but scored the game’s first nine points. Missouri didn’t get on the board until Tony Criswell hit a 15-foot jumper with 13 minutes, 23 seconds left in the half.
Ole Miss was up 9-2 and led by as many as 13 points in the half before Missouri closed the gap to 31-22 at the break.
The Rebels began the second half strong as well, quickly pushing the lead to 14 when Holloway, from the high post, faked a hand-off then turned to his left and powered to the basket.
“When you have Marshall in the corner … without him standing in that corner, Murph doesn’t have space,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “If Murph can beat his man, he’s going to have a chance to finish at the rim.”
Henderson dropped 32 at Tennessee on Wednesday, and the Tigers (11-3, 1-1) did their best to deny him shots three days later.
When he was on the bench in first-half foul trouble, Ole Miss knocked down three 3-pointers, two by freshman Derrick Millinghaus.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy called Millinghaus the MVP of the first half.
The absence of Bowers subtracted 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds from the Tigers.
“Injuries are part of the game. We’re not going to make excuses,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “But it is difficult, because he’s your leading scorer, a guy you run offense through.”
Henderson finished with 11 points, and Jarvis Summers added 12.
Guard Jabari Brown led Missouri with 13 points.
Plenty of basketball remains to be played, but for Ole Miss it was a far different result than when it had a key RPI opportunity late last year and lost 102-76 to Vanderbilt.