Louisiana-Monroe hung with Ole Miss for 20 minutes, but a quick start to the second half allowed the Rebels to pull away for a relatively easy 75-62 win Wednesday night in Oxford.
Ole Miss trailed as late as the 10-minute mark in the first half and led just 37-33 at intermission. Andy Kennedy's squad began the second half on a 14-2 run, however, sprinting out to a comfortable distance and coasting to the finish.
Marshall Henderson put up about as Marshall Henderson a stat line as you could imagine, going 6-of-16 from the field and 6-of-13 from 3 for a game-high 26 points. While he was stroking from the outside, he struggled with his mid-range game, rattling out several short jumpers and floaters in the lane. He did a good job of getting to the charity stripe, however, going 8-of-9 on free throws.
As a whole, Ole Miss out-shot Monroe 40 percent to 37 percent on the night. The Rebels were strong on the defensive side, grabbing 13 steals and blocking seven shots. They were dominated on the glass, though, bringing down just 34 rebounds to Monroe's 46.
Snoop White was the only other Rebel to score in double digits with 13, and also led the team with seven rebounds. Aaron Jones and Demarco Cox combined for just six points and four rebounds. Derrick Millinghaus didn't play at all in the first half and finished with eight points.
With the Ole Miss band off for the break, the groovy SoulTones took over the musical accompaniment, and I'm told they brought the damn house down. No offense to the band, but they should let the SoulTones handle that gig permanently. I've never felt marching band music and basketball match up well.
[A hat tip to Operation_Masoli_Freedom -- who I hate for getting to spend all week in Oxford -- for a first-hand report.]