BLOG — Senior guard Marshall Henderson scored a game-high 26 points, LaDarius White added 13 points, and Ole Miss picked up its second win in as many games with a 75-62 victory over Louisiana-Monroe Wednesday night at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
The Rebels didn’t have much of an inside presence — Ole Miss mustered just 20 points in the paint and was outrebounded for the second straight game, 45-33 — but Henderson picked up the slack in his second start of the season, carrying the Rebels through a sluggish first half with 14 points and finishing the night with six 3-pointers.
Henderson, who got his points on 16 shots, is averaging 26.6 points over his last three games.
Henderson wasn’t made available to the media following the game, but Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said he’s been pleased with Henderson’s play within the flow of the offense lately.
“I thought he was efficient tonight. I thought he was efficient against Middle (Tennessee),” Kennedy said. “He’s not having to take 30 shots to score 30 points. We know what he is, and when he’s in there, I’m trying to run action where he can get off that catch-and-shoot. It really opens the game up for his teammates.
Ole Miss (8-2) held a 37-33 lead at the half despite shooting just 31 percent (10-for-29), but the Rebels eventually distanced themselves behind the hot hand of Henderson, who hit back-to-back 3s in the first two minutes of the second half to give Ole Miss its biggest lead at the time, 45-34.
The Rebels eventually opened up a 20-point cushion on a 3 from Anthony Perez, who scored all eight of his points in the second half, with 12:08 left in the game. ULM (3-3) couldn’t get any closer than 13 the rest of the way.
“I thought the first five minutes of the second half were vitally important because we had allowed them to hang around because of mistakes really on both sides of the ball,” Kennedy said. “We came out of the locker room and made, I think, four or five shots in a row right out of the gate. Got us into some rhythm, and then we played with cushion from there.”
Ole Miss knocked down 48 percent of its shots in the second half and moved the ball better in large part to the play of White, who also racked up seven assists and seven rebounds to fall just short of a triple-double. Kennedy called White’s performance his “best game overall,” noting his ability to draw defenders with his penetration and get Henderson open looks.
Amos Olatayo led ULM with 17 points while Tylor Ongwae had 12. Jayon James scored nine points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
See Thursday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of the Rebels’ win. (December 19, 2013)