In retail terms, the Rebels’ skill, athleticism and depth has purchased them five straight wins – and now a rest, before what may be a stronger test a week from today against Rutgers in the Big East-SEC Challenge.
The Rebels’ five wins have come by an average victory margin of 33.2 points.
tough games ahead
“We have two very difficult games upcoming. We have to take our best moments and some of the things we’ve seen both offensively and defensively and be able to sustain it,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “I’m anxious to see who we are. I think Rutgers will be an opportunity for us to see that.”
After facing Rutgers, the Rebels are off for another week before their first road game at Middle Tennessee State.
Ole Miss was plagued by a slow start earlier in the week against McNeese State, but that wasn’t the case after Thanksgiving.
Junior college transfer guard Marshall Henderson hit his first 3-pointer, and the Rebels sprinted to leads of 17-2 and 30-7.
One thing that was similar to the McNeese game is that it wasn’t a high-percentage 3-point night for Henderson, who missed his next four 3-point attempts and finished 2 for 12 behind the arc.
There was more than enough production, however. Ole Miss was the superior team in the post and played like it with Murphy Holloway going strong to the rim, and Reggie Buckner blocking and altering shots.
Holloway had game-highs of 23 points and eight rebounds; Buckner contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and five blocks.
Nick Williams was 3 for 4 from 3-point range and finished with 14 points.
While Henderson wasn’t knocking down 3s, he still filled up a stat line with 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and no turnovers in 23 minutes.
The Rebels forced 26 turnovers and collected 20 steals, six by freshman Martavious Newby.
“I was really pleased with the way we came out of the gate,” Kennedy said. “We established ourselves early, and it was with our upperclassmen, which is what I’m most proud of.”