By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – It was throwback day for Ole Miss on Saturday as the Rebels remembered the last time they began SEC play with four straight wins.
Celebrating a time when amenities like video boards weren’t around at sporting events, Ole Miss and Arkansas played through power problems on campus in lighting that seemed a few watts higher than a candlelight vigil.
Ultimately, Ole Miss showed some of the same resolve it did when charging back from a 13-point deficit at Vanderbilt earlier in the week by taking command of the game – for the second time – after it had lost a 13-point lead at home.
The Rebels put five players in double figures to win 76-64 before 9,004 at Tad Smith Coliseum, the second-straight home sellout.
The Rebels, 15-2 overall, are 4-0 in the SEC for the first time since Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House, the 1936-37 season to be more exact.
“The spotlight’s gotten a little brighter, we’ve had great support, a lot of energy in the building, and that helps us, it truly does. My hope is that will continue, and that our guys will continue to embrace the grind,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said.
The lights blinked with 5:37 left in the first half and the Rebels holding a three-point lead.
A 20-minute delay followed, and Ole Miss pushed its lead to 34-26 at the half. Only the lights shining directly on the floor were used, and video boards were out, after the blink.
“They were probably more mad about it than us. We go to Ole Miss. A lot of stuff don’t work right sometimes around here,” said Murphy Holloway, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, his SEC-leading ninth double-double.
Holloway then praised the fans’ energy in the building and the impact he says on the team.
“I like the Tad Pad. I wouldn’t change it for nothing.”
The shots didn’t come easily for Marshall Henderson, but eventually they did fall. Nick Williams got his to fall too, and timely shooting helped the Rebels reassert themselves after the Razorbacks (11-6, 2-2) were efficient in their zone defense and scrambled back to tie the game at 52 with 10:07 to play.
Henderson hit his first 3-pointer with 9:52 left, and Williams followed on the next possession as the Rebels quickly pushed the lead to 58-52.
Each added another 3, and when Henderson knocked down his with 6:30 left, the lead was back to 13 at 67-54.
Henderson missed his first seven 3-point shots but finished 3-for-10 from the arc and led Ole Miss with 16 points.
Williams’ 3-for-5 3-point shooting helped him score 14 points, and point guard Jarvis Summers added 14 points and seven assists.
The Rebels, 0-for-8 from 3-point range in the first half, were 6-for-12 in the second.
“They’re older. Andy’s got the right kids, and they’re doing the right things,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “Henderson adds another dimension to it.”