While the rest of y'all were watching the Iron Bowl (and who would blame you for that?), Andy Kennedy's Rebels won the Barclays Center Classic* by beating the Penn State Nittany Lions 79-76. It was a back and forth affair for much of the second half, but the Rebels surged late to secure the victory.
Jarvis Summers led the Rebs in most statistics, including points (19), assists (5), and minutes (27). Marshall Henderson also contributed 19 points, and Derek Millinghaus was third on the team with 14. Also notable are Demarco Cox (7 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks), Sebastian Saiz (3 points, 9 rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal), and Snoop White (5 points, 4 assists).
Overall, the team played confident, well-rounded basketball over the last two days. It was, in a word, surprising. I think a lot of people - yours truly included - felt the Rebels would regress significantly without Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner. Of course, we are by no means predicting a repeat SEC Men's Basketball Tournament championship for this team, but they have what it takes to compete.
And on with buster_bluth's recap, which is copied straight from here, with some modification:
|Ole Miss||Penn St.|
For a second straight night, it was a solid team effort, with 5 guys chipping in 6 points or more on the offensive end. The Rebels survived an ugly night from the FT line, hitting just 8-18 (44.4%). But they protected the ball - just 7 turnovers - and pressured Tim Frazier into just 9 points and a 3/13 night shooting the ball.
This is a win that will likely look very good at the end of the season. While PSU isn't amongst the elite of the B1G, they are going to beat some teams in that conference this year. They've got an outstanding backcourt and can score from all over the floor. The Rebels are 6-0 and have 2 more big non-conference games before they have breather. They head to Manhattan, KS, next Thursday to take on the Kansas State Wildcats before returning home for a game against the Oregon Ducks.
We're not predicting a Rebel win against either the Wildcats or the Ducks, but we can't say that the possibility of Ole Miss having out of conference wins against teams from the B1G, ACC, Big XII, and Pac 12 hasn't crossed our minds.
*Shouldn't there be a rule for calling your tournament a "classic?" I mean, this is only the second year we've had this event so the name's a bit funny.