BLOG — Ole Miss men’s basketball team was much like a car that had the inability to go from park to drive during a considerable portion of Saturday’s game with Auburn at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.The Rebels were dead, they were lethargic on offense, they were very much like car that had a dead starter and badly needed a spark to get moving in the right direction. Fortunately, that spark was provided by junior forward Murphy Holloway, who led the Rebels back from an 11-point deficit early in the second half.
Holloway, who finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the Rebels’ 61-54 victory over the Tigers, said he was motivated to get things rolling by coach Andy Kennedy following the first media timeout of the second half.
“He just told me that those guys, they follow you,” Holloway said about what Kennedy told him. “He told me to lead by example and I guarantee they follow, so that’s what I did.”
Holloway’s momentum-changing run started with an offensive putback at the 14:58 mark of the second half and the Rebels trailing 39-28. By the 11:22 mark, Ole Miss was back ahead 40-39 and Holloway had scored 12 straight points. The explosion not only put the Rebels ahead, but it got other players going, including Nick Williams, who scored seven of his 13 points in the second half and Jarvis Summers, who added six points in the final 20 minutes of action. Ole Miss shot 53.8 percent from the floor in the second half compared to just a 34.8 percent shooting display in the first half. With the exception of Reginald Buckner, the Rebels also made their free throws late to help keep a two-possession lead on the Tigers.
After trailing Auburn 31-24 at the break, the Rebels outscored the Tigers 37-23 to capture the Southeastern Conference win that improved them to 5-5 in league games and 15-9 overall.
For more on Holloway’s heroics and the victory, see Monday’s Sports section.
(February 11, 2012)