By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss forward Nick Williams did not return to the lineup on Wednesday night against Mississippi State as expected.
Williams, who suffered a foot injury against Kentucky, went through the Rebels’ pregame shoot around but returned to the floor before pregame introductions in street clothes.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said he hoped Williams could return this weekend, but would go off how he feels as the week progresses.
In his first taste of the in-state rivalry, Mississippi State coach Rick Ray was pleased with the Bulldogs’ effort, particularly in the second half.
The Bulldogs cut a 22-point opening half deficit to as low as 10 off a Fred Thomas 3-pointer with under four minutes to play in the game.
MSU lost late leads last week in losses to Texas A&M and LSU after starting both games strong.
Player of the Game
Ole Miss senior Murphy Holloway entered the night in a two-week slump after shooting only 35 percent in the previous four games.
Holloway broke out of his drought by hitting his first six shots on the way to a 24-point game. He was 9 of 12 total from the field with a game-high eight rebounds.
“We just tried to coast through the second half which was a little disappointing for me, but I’ve come to expect a lot of disappointing things.” – Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy
Both teams have Saturday afternoon rematches against opponents they have already faced in SEC play. Ole Miss travels to No. 21 Missouri (Noon, CBS), while MSU heads to No. 2 Florida (4 p.m., FSN).