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November 22, 2013

Cox, Millinghaus lead Rebels in rout of MVSU


Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy addresses the media following the Rebels' 111-82 win over Mississippi Valley Friday night at Tad Smith Coliseum

OXFORD, Miss. -- Derrick Millinghaus scored 21 points and Demarco Cox recorded career bests with 15 points and 12 rebounds Friday night to lead Ole Miss to a 111-82 win over Mississippi Valley State Friday night.

Ole Miss (3-0) surpassed the 100-point mark for the first time since a win over Alcorn State in December 2010.

Millinghaus made eight of 14 shots from the field. Marshall Henderson came off the bench to score 15 points, while Anthony Perez and Jarvis Summers each added 14 points.

Cox, a junior forward who played just one game last season due to a recurring foot injury, was averaging just 3.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game before Friday.

"I got a chance to score early," Cox said. "I think when I get a chance to score a quick, easy bucket, it kind of turns my game all the way around."

"He works so hard," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said, referring to Cox. "I was glad to see him rewarded by finishing some plays at the basket. Some of that was him finishing and some of that was our team putting him in position to be successful."

Cox had made just two of his first seven shots this season before converting on six of seven attempts Friday.

"I had gotten a little frustrated," Cox said. "It's a mind thing for me. If I can get going, I'm good for the rest of the game."

"That's a big boy," said Mississippi Valley coach Chico Potts, referring to the 6-foot-8, 276-pound Cox. "He's a man amongst boys, and his girth gave us fits. When he squares up, it's tough to get around him."

Ole Miss steadily pulled away from the Delta Devils in the first half, building a 22-point halftime lead. Millinghaus scored six of the Rebels' first eight points. Ladarius White's 3-pointer with 6:15 left in the first half gave the Rebels a 25-point lead.

Mississippi Valley (1-4) never got closer than 18 points the rest of the game. They trailed by as much as 31 in the second half.

Poor field goal shooting had hampered Ole Miss a bit through its first two games of the season. On Friday, however, the Rebels overcame a bit of a slow start from the field _ Ole Miss missed 16 of its first 24 shots _ and hit a strong 50.7 percent of its shots. The Rebels were 9-for-19 from the 3-point line and 30-for-38 from the free throw line.

"They're reigning SEC champions and they're just now getting into their groove," Potts said. "Marshall just got back. It was just his second game (after serving a suspension for offseason misconduct in Ole Miss' season-opening win over Troy on Nov. 8) and they're fine-tuning their deal. They're long and they're athletic and they did some things to cause us some problems on our offensive end. Overall, Ole Miss is a good, quality team and they're going to challenge again for the SEC championship."

Henderson added four assists and one steal in 22 minutes. Last season's leading scorer in the SEC was a bit of a game-time decision Friday after slamming his hand in a chair one hour prior to tipoff.

"I think (Henderson) made a conscious effort of finding guys on the roll," Kennedy said. "We talked about that ad nauseum last year and this year that if he would come out and set his shot up by finding the open player the way defenses over-play him, I think things would open up for him and that was true to the cause today. …I thought he let the game come to him offensively which was a welcome change."

Blake Ralling led Mississippi Valley with 16 points. Jordan Washington added 14, while DeAngelo Priar had 13 and James Currington and Anthony McDonald had 12 each.

The game was part of the Barclays Center Classic, which continues next week in New York. Ole Miss, St. John's, Penn State and Georgia Tech will play Friday and Saturday at the Brooklyn Nets' home.

Ole Miss will entertain North Carolina A&T while Mississippi Valley travels to Georgia Tech on Tuesday. Both games are also part of the Barclays Center Classic.

NOTES: Freshman Dwight Coleby did not dress Friday. Kennedy said Coleby has been suffering from pain in his shin that doctors have determined is muscular in nature. Kennedy did not designate a timetable for Coleby's return.


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