BLOG — Six Rebels finished in double figures, and Ole Miss routed Mississippi Valley State, 111-82, at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum Friday night.
The Rebels (3-0 overall) shrugged off a sluggish start from the field to match their highest point total since 1998 against Prairie View A&M. Ole Miss shot 51 percent for the game, including going 9-for-19 from beyond the arc.
Four of those 3-pointers came from senior guard Marshall Henderson, who received a rousing ovation when he entered the game less than three minutes in in his second game back from suspension.
Henderson finished with 15 points, but the Rebels got plenty of other contributions against the outmatched Delta Devils. Guard Derrick Millinghaus poured in a career-high 21 points on 8 of 14 shooting while reserve forward Anthony Perez scored 14 points in 18 minutes. Junior center Demarco Cox turned in one of the best performances of his career, dominating the paint to notch his first double-double since 2010 with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Jarvis Summers and Ladarius White finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Freshman forward Sebastian Saiz pulled down 10 boards to go with six points.
“I thought once we settled into a rhythm, we were much better offensively,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “Got some guys off the schneid. I was really proud of Demarco Cox. He works so hard. I was glad to see him rewarded by finishing some plays at the basket.”
Ole Miss built a 10-point lead on a Perez jumper midway through the first half and led by less than that just once the rest of the game — a 26-18 advantage with 7:48 left until halftime following back-to-back 3′s from the Delta Devils. The Rebels answered with a 7-0 run and pressed on the gas, building a 54-32 lead at the half en route to the blowout victory.
The Rebels also cashed in at the free throw line and cleaned up on the glass, hitting 30 of their 38 fouls shots and outrebounding MVSU 46-37.
Though the game was never in doubt, the Rebels gave up 50 points in the second half and allowed the Delta Devils to connect on 12 3-pointers. Kennedy said that was a sore spot, but he also acknowledged emptying the bench late in the game contributed to some of the defensive lapses.
“Defensively in the second half, we lost our focus at times and allowed them to make shots,” Kennedy said. “They’re an athletic team on the perimeter, and coming into the game, I think they had made 12 3-pointers on the season, and they made 12 tonight. Some of that’s us and some of that was them.”
Ole Miss will return to the Tad Pad on Tuesday for a matchup against North Carolina A&T. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
See more on the Rebels’ win in Monday’s edition of the EAGLE. (November 23, 2013)