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January 22, 2014
Rebels make more music in Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jarvis Summers scored 16 points in leading the Ole Miss Rebels who nearly blew a 13-point lead in the second half before beating Vanderbilt 63-52 Wednesday night.
The Rebels (13-5, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) now have won three straight overall and leave Memorial Gym with back-to-back wins in a place where they had won in only six of their first 55 visits.
"Our offense wasn't clicking right," Summers said. "Coach (Andy Kennedy) was like, 'We need to make plays,' and I just got it in my head that I was going to make a play and be a leader."
Vanderbilt (9-8, 1-4) just couldn't overcome the Rebels' 44-40 edge on the boards for a 15-8 edge in second-chance points, and Ole Miss turned the Commodores' 17 turnovers into 16 points.
"We battled and battled and battled," Kennedy said. "We never let Vandy get in any kind of offensive flow. One of the things we try to do defensively is just keep people out of rhythm and I thought we were very effective."
Marshall Henderson, who was 1-of-8 in the first half, finished with 11 points for Ole Miss. Anthony Perez added 13 and Ladarius White 11.
Rod Odom scored a game-high 18 points for Vanderbilt. Damian Jones had 14.
The Rebels took a 29-20 lead into halftime and went up 33-20 in the opening minutes of the second half. But after a first half when Vanderbilt shot 29.2 percent, the Commodores hit nine of their first 17 in the second half. When James Siakam scored underneath with 6:10 left, that gave Vanderbilt its first lead since 3-0 at 46-45.
But then the Commodores went cold as Jones missed a pair of free throws.
Aaron Jones hit a jumper putting the Rebels ahead to stay with 5:48 to go the first of 11 straight points.
Henderson fed a pass to Perez for a layup. Then Odom lost the ball on the sideline leading to a scramble that ended with Henderson hitting a 3-pointer. Henderson then hit a second consecutive 3, pushing the lead to 55-46 with 3:57 left, and celebrated with a big fist pump in front of the Vanderbilt student section that had been booing him all night long when he touched the ball.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a guy like him who draws so much attention," Kennedy said, referring to Henderson. "We did a great job a couple of games ago of playing behind it and finishing at the basket. Tonight we couldn't finish. But Marshall draws so much attention and here he is 4-for-15, but you stay around and stay around. He had two opportunities and Marshall hit two big ones back-to-back and all of a sudden you take a one-possession game to a three- or four-possession game and I thought we took the wind out of their sails."
The Rebels easily finished off the win.
Henderson's back-to-back 3-pointers were the highlight of the night for the senior guard who came in as the SEC's best 3-point shooter and was named the league's player of the week on Monday. He forced overtime here last season from about 30 feet out had trouble connecting Wednesday night. Henderson also missed a shot just after he crossed mid-court that bounced off the rim before the halftime buzzer.
The first half was sluggish and ugly with Ole Miss failing to take advantage of a 4-minute scoring drought by Vanderbilt and plenty of sloppy turnovers by the Commodores. The poor play continued into the second half as both teams combined to hit only 3 of their first 12 shots.
The Commodores scored eight straight to pull within 33-28 on a layup by Kyle Fuller. When Odom hit a 3-pointer with 12:31 left to pull Vandy within 37-33, that brought the fans to life for the first time all night. His jumper with 8:05 capped a 6-0 spurt and tied up the Rebels at 41 with 8:05 remaining in the first of three ties.
Ole Miss returns home to face Mississippi State Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The game is already a sellout.
"Hopefully Rebel Nation will come out in force and allow us to protect our home court."
Ole Miss NEWS