Ole Miss overcame poor shooting night early foul trouble to down McNeese State 76-50 Tuesday night. Guard Marshall Henderson, who came into the game leading the conference in scoring, managed just 9 points on 3-12 shooting, including 2-10 from beyond-the-arc. It was easily Henderson’s worst performance of the year as he also turned the ball over four times in the contest.
Murphy Holloway played just six minutes in the first half after picking up a pair of fouls. He came surging back after halftime though, finishing with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. Holloway ended the game a perfect 7-7 from the field, playing the role of physical bully in the final frame. Fellow senior Reginald Buckner also had a perfect night from the field, going 6-6 and finishing with 13 points. The Memphis, Tenn. native also added 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Buckner also saw limited action as he racked up three fouls.
Aside from Holloway and Buckner, the Rebels were 18-53 from the field, a mark that seems to be more of an anomaly than a cause for concern. The lowest point total for Ole Miss in their first three games was 90 against Coastal Carolina.
The Rebels were still able to rack up 76 points due in large part to their continued rebounding edge over their opponent. Andy Kennedy’s club outrebounded the Cowboys 45-28, led by Holloway.
While rebounding has been a staple of the Kennedy regime, quality free throw shooting has not been. The Rebels were in rare form last night, going 11-13 from the line. If they can continue to shoot closer than that, the potential of this team skyrockets.
Ten different players scored for Ole Miss, including Nick Williams with 10 and Demarco Cox who scored 4 points and grabbed 3 boards in 14 minutes. Ole Miss has missed the bruising big man in the paint, and there will be another element added with him in the lineup again.
The Cowboys shot just 33.9 percent from the field, including 8.3 percent from deep. The lone bright spot was the play of Desharick Guidry who led the team in points and rebounds with 14 and 11 respectively.
McNeese State returns to action next Tuesday with a home game against Centenary at 7:30 p.m.
Ole Miss will continue their six-game homestand when they take on Libscomb this Friday at 4 p.m.