By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Andy Kennedy has a mental case in his backcourt, but that’s OK with him.
He’s got a ticket to ride, and he don’t care.
Marshall Henderson was 6-for-12 from 3-point range and hit two of his biggest shots down the stretch – one after a teammate’s missed free throw was kept alive by Aaron Jones in overtime – to help Ole Miss to an 88-74 win against LSU Wednesday night.
Coming off suspension, the flamboyant Henderson was playing in his first SEC game of the season and finished with 25 points.
Henderson’s shot selection is often called into question, but with the Rebels trying to add to a two-point lead with roughly 3 minutes left in overtime, Kennedy had no problem with Henderson quickly launching a 3-pointer when the loose ball found him.
“No, when you ride with him, you’ve got to ride with him. There’s no half-way. You’re in, and I’m in,” Kennedy said.
Added to the Sebastian Saiz bucket that preceded it, Henderson’s shot gave the Rebels’ a five-point trip and a 76-69 lead.
Henderson finished 6-for-12 from the arc and upped his season 3-point percentage to 39.3. He shot 35 percent last season in helping the Rebels win the SEC tournament and reach the NCAAs for the first time since 2002.
Ole Miss (11-5, 2-1 SEC) is back on the road Saturday for a 3:30 p.m, start at South Carolina.
Henderson said he envisioned the overtime scenario right before it unfolded in front of him.
“It came right to me. I think I like made it happen in my head. I think I’ve got like strong mental powers,” Henderson said. “I was sitting there like, ‘This is going to be really crazy, because we don’t even have a guy on the other side rebounding, but he’s going to miss it, and AJ’s going to tip it right to me.’ I was already like ready for it, and it happened perfectly.”
Less perfect but no less effective was Henderson’s defense against LSU guard Anthony Hickey on the last shot before overtime.
The Rebels have lost home games this season when then-No. 13 Oregon, Mercer and Dayton – two of those in overtime – have hit the big shots late.
LSU was poised to join the group when coach Johnny Jones instructed the Tigers to spread the floor, and Hickey faced Henderson in a game tied at 69.
“Me and the dude were like staring at each other in the eyes, and he was like, ‘I’m going at you,’” Henderson said. “I looked behind me, I looked at the clocks, and was like, ‘He really is, there’s no screen.’”
Hickey could not convert. He had seven assists and only one turnover but was just 4-for-16 shooting.
At the overtime tip, Henderson said he told Hickey, “You had it. You had that.”
Henderson continued, “If he’d have made that it was over, obviously. He got me, but he missed it.”