By The Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. — Ole Miss rediscovered its outside shooting touch to open the second half and surged away from LSU for a 78-51 victory Saturday.
The win halted the worst start in SEC play for the Rebels (13-7, 1-4) since 2000.
Chris Warren scored 18 points, Zach Graham 17, Nick Williams 14 and Terrence Henry produced a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Ole Miss.
The Rebels buried four consecutive 3-pointers in just over 3 minutes early in the second half to blow the game open. They shot 7 of 10 outside the arc over the final 20 minutes, anchored by Warren, who led Ole Miss with four 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, LSU (10-9, 2-2) came out ice cold in the second half and missed its first six floor shots, 10 of its first 11 and 14 of its first 16.
That dropped the Tigers into a deep hole they never climbed out of en route to a second straight lopsided SEC loss, their worst at home since getting drubbed 129-97 by Kentucky on Jan. 16, 1996.
Ole Miss quickly turned a 38-32 halftime lead into a 52-36 advantage when Warren sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around Henry’s 3 and Trevor Gaskins added a fourth in a row.
LSU hung close when Malcolm White, a transfer from Ole Miss, hit a pair of free throws at the 16:06 mark. But the Tigers went the next 6:07 without a point, and another Rebels flurry stretched the lead to 20. LSU whittled the margin under 20 only once after that.
Freshman Matt Derenbecker led LSU with 14 points, eight in the game’s initial 3:52. Andre Stringer added 11 points and had three of the six 3-pointers made by the Tigers.
Those two weren’t nearly enough, as the Tigers made only 6 of 24 shots in the second half and played out of sync as Ole Miss pulled away.
The Rebels came in as the SEC leader in 3-pointers attempted (414) and second in 3s made (141) and shot like a team that was comfortable from long range.
LSU stayed close in the first half, despite shooting only 40.9 percent (9 of 22) from the floor. The Rebels shot 56 percent (14 of 25) in the first 20 minutes, penetrating the Tigers’ 2-3 zone effectively for several close-in shots.
Derenbecker scored eight points to get LSU started quickly and had 12 at halftime, and Stringer pumped in his three 3-pointers to keep the Rebels from pulling away.
Ole Miss managed to shake free midway through the first half, scoring on six consecutive possessions to seize a 26-20 lead.
Stringer knocked down a 3 to close the gap with 7:29 left. But Henry triggered a 10-4 run when he connected from beyond the arc and finished it with a conventional three-point play that nudged the Rebels’ lead to 36-27, biggest of the half.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal.