VIDEO BLOG: Ole Miss overcame early shooting struggles to knock off Rutgers 80-67 on Saturday at the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
Saturday’s game was part of the annual SEC/Big East Challenge.
Ole Miss (6-0 overall) found itself in a 36-32 hole at the end of the first half after shooting just 35.3 percent from the floor and an even worse 28.6 percent from the charity stripe.
In the second half, however, the Rebels seemed to flip the proverbial switch and after trading baskets early on, took their first lead with just over 15 minutes remaining on a Murphy Holloway dunk.
Although Rutgers (4-2) hung around and later tied the game at 55-55, back-to-back 3-pointers from Marshall Henderson put Ole Miss ahead 61-55 and the visitors never threatened the rest of the game.
Holloway and Reginald Buckner both led Ole Miss on offense and defense. Holloway had 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while Buckner had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Henderson had a game-high 18 points, while LaDarius White and Jarvis Summers contributed 13 and 12 points respectively.
Ole Miss finished the game with a 43.8 percentage from the floor but made just 43.6 percent from the free throw line.
Rutgers coach Mike Rice said the game was not unlike an early conference game, adding he didn’t mind the passion he saw on the court.
“They certainly bring physicality. They’re always hitting,” he said. “Hitting first is always better than reacting.”
Rutgers’ leading scorer, Eli Carter, ended up scoring 10 on 1 of 12 shooting from the floor. Myles Mack led the Scarlett Knights with 15 points. Dane Miller chipped in 14.
Saturday’s game was broadcast on ESPNU, marking the Rebels’ first televised game of the season. … This is the sixth year of the SEC/Big East Challenge. Ole Miss is 2-1 in the event after defeating DePaul 70-68 last year and losing to Louisville in Cincinnati in 2008 77-68. … Prior to the game, Kennedy and members of the Vaught Society did the “Are You Ready?” on the video board. … During a timeout mid-way through the first half, the student section began a “we want Treadwell” chant, referring to Ole Miss football recruit Laquon Treadwell, a 6-foot-3 four-star receiver from Crete, Ill., who was in attendance. … Ole Miss returns to action Dec. 8 at Middle Tennessee State before returning home to host East Tennessee State Dec. 14.
PARTING VIEWS: The following are post-game videos of (in order) Kennedy, Holloway and White:
(December 1, 2012)