Rebel yell: Close game breaks open in second half

Sebastian Saiz dunks for Ole Miss in the Rebels' victory at home over Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

Sebastian Saiz dunks for Ole Miss in the Rebels’ victory at home over Louisiana-Monroe on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman)

By Parrish Alford

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Ole Miss can sometimes struggle to find a rhythm on offense when Marshall Henderson isn’t scoring.

That wasn’t the case Wednesday.

Henderson hit 3-pointers on three-straight second-half possessions to help the Rebels break open a close game and cruise to a 75-62 win over Louisiana-Monroe before a crowd of 5,754 at Tad Smith Coliseum.

The Warhawks had limited opponents to 22.7 3-point shooting going into the game.

Henderson was 6-for-13 behind the arc, 0-for-3 in front of it, and finished with 26 points.

Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said his team played with more efficiency in the second half when it built a 20-point lead.

“The first five minutes of the second half were vitally important. We had allowed them to hang around because of mistakes really on both ends,” he said.

Millinghaus sits

Backup guard Derrick Millinghaus, the Rebels’ third-leading scorer, did not play in the first half for what Kennedy called a “discipline step.” Millinghaus entered with 16 minutes, 12 seconds remaining and finished eight points, hitting some timely shots to help keep the Warhawks (3-3) at bay.

Ole Miss (8-2) led 37-33 at the half and was up 39-34 when Henderson caught fire.

“They hung around, and coach told us to put our foot on their neck, and that’s what we did,” said LaDarius White, who filled out a nice stat line with 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Aside from Henderson’s hot hand some reoccurring troubles were there for Ole Miss. The Rebels were minus-12 on the glass and were outscored 13-7 in second-chance points as ULM gained 20 offensive rebounds.

Ole Miss off-set those problems with success at the free throw line, much of it from Henderson, who was 8-for-9 there. The Rebels were 21-for-27 from the line as a team.

Kennedy is concerned with his frontcourt play.

“We’ve got a huge issue, and it’s obvious to everybody who watches us. I’m playing post guys major, major minutes, and they’re not producing,” he said. “I’ve got reevaluate going forward what we’re going to do.”

parrish.alford@journalinc.com