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November 20, 2012
Ole Miss guard Nick Williams meets with media following his 10-point performance in the Rebels' 76-50 win over McNeese State Tuesday night.
OXFORD, Miss. -- For the first time all season Tuesday, Ole Miss couldn't lean on Marshall Henderson.
Further, the Rebels were playing without freshman point guard Derrick Millinghaus, who had surgery earlier in the day to repair a lateral meniscus tear.
That put the load on Ole Miss' three seniors, and they all delivered, helping the Rebels overcome a sluggish start en route to a 76-50 win over McNeese State at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Ole Miss (4-0) got 15 points and nine rebounds from Murphy Holloway, 13 points and seven rebounds from Reginald Buckner and 10 points and three rebounds from Nick Williams to press through the Rebels' worst performance of the season.
"I got an offensive rebound and it got me going in the second half," Holloway said, referring to the Rebels' response to a first half that saw McNeese State pull with 33-29 with 2:34 left in the first half before Ole Miss closed the opening 20 minutes with a 6-1 run to take a 39-30 lead into halftime. "That always gets me going. It's real hard to get up, but I don't have too many of these college games left. I try to self-motivate myself. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't."
Ole Miss opened the second half with a 21-9 run to put the game away. Holloway scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the second half.
"For Murph, I think when we can get into that left hand, he's as fast a face-4 as there is the country," Kennedy said. "He's strong. He's explosive. We try to do things to get him to his strong hand, and he's doing a better job of recognizing where help's coming from and he's making plays."
Henderson, who entered Tuesday's game averaging 22 points per game, made just three of 12 shots from the floor, including a 2-for-10 performance from behind the 3-point line.
"I didn't think he was zoned in," Kennedy said. "He passed up two or three shots. I thought offensively we were very stagnant early and he had a couple of turnovers, which I think took away a little bit of his edge."
Jarvis Summers played 28 minutes at point guard, scoring seven points, dishing out four assists and committing just one turnover. LaDarius White played 16 minutes, mostly at point guard, scoring four points.
"I want him to be able to manage our team some from the point," Kennedy said, referring to White. "He played a little bit off the ball tonight because I wanted to sit those upperclassmen at the end. The majority of his time will be with the ball now until we get Derrick back."
With White spending his time at point guard, Kennedy said he'll turn to Williams and Henderson for more minutes. Freshmen Martavious Newby and Anthony Perez will get more opportunities on the wings as well.
"I think it's a big loss as far as when he gets the rebound, he pushes," Holloway said of Millinghaus. "Sometimes he makes plays by himself. Those were extra points. He was turning over it some. That's because he was new, but he was doing a good job. That's a big blow to us right now. I think (White) will do a good job."
Ole Miss plays Lipscomb Friday at 4 p.m.
TIP-INS: Junior Demarco Cox made his season debut Tuesday, scoring four points and grabbing three rebounds in 14 minutes. Kennedy said forward Jason Carter remains suspended indefinitely and gave no indication that the junior college transfer's debut is imminent. Kennedy had high praise for sophomore Aaron Jones, who had six points and eight rebounds in 22 points, calling Jones the Rebels' best support defender.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy meets with the media following the Rebels' win over McNeese State Tuesday.
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