By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
The Rebels held Missouri off the scoreboard for the first 61⁄2 minutes on the way to a 64-49 win over the nation’s 10th-ranked team before a sellout crowd at Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday night.
The confidence-building victory has Ole Miss 2-0 in SEC play for the first time in seven years. Senior forward Murphy Holloway led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds.
The Rebels set the table for the week on Wednesday with a 92-74 win at Tennessee behind 32 points from junior college transfer guard Marshall Henderson, the SEC’s leading scorer.
The Rebels are back on the SEC road against Vanderbilt on Tuesday 8 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU. They return home Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. SEC Network televised game against Arkansas.
Holloway was just two rebounds shy of a double-double against Missouri and leads the SEC with eight double-doubles.
Sophomore guard LaDarius White, a recent addition to the starting lineup, had just four points and was 0-for-3 from 3-point range in 20 minutes against Missouri. White also had three turnovers.
The Rebels were languishing in the mid-60s before the Tennessee game, but the two wins have them at 45 going into the second week of conference play.
The Missouri win was the fifth straight for Ole Miss, and the Rebels are playing with growing confidence right now. The SEC is down, and it’s important for this team to take advantage of resume-building opportunities when they come around.
The Rebels – in search of their first NCAA tournament bid since 2002 – did that this week and must continue to do that home and away beginning with Vanderbilt in Nashville this week.