OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – Ole Miss cruised to a 82-63 victory over in-state rival Mississippi State Saturday afternoon led by 19 points each from Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers.
The Rebels (14-5, 4-1 SEC) received contributions from just about everyone on the roster. LaDarius White scored 11 points while Sebastian Saiz scored six points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots.
“We need Marshall and Jarvis to be all-league caliber players and I think so far they’re playing as such,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “Now we’ve got to get contributions from different people.”
Summers scored on the game’s opening possession, driving to the basket for a layup, and Ole Miss never trailed. It was a much different result than two weeks ago, when Mississippi State beat Ole Miss 76-72 in Starkville.
But Ole Miss didn’t have Henderson in that game because he was serving a two-game suspension, stemming from bad behavior last season. He was back on Saturday and the difference was stark.
Henderson didn’t have a good day shooting, making just 2 of 12 shots from 3-point range, but he was more aggressive driving to the basket and added four assists and four steals.
His biggest moments came in the second half, when he grabbed a steal and raced down the court, throwing down a powerful two-handed dunk. A few minutes later, the 6-foot-2 guard swatted Trivante Bloodman’s shot off the wall in front of the student section.
The students loved it. So did his teammates.
“His energy just boosts us,” Summers said. “It makes us want to go hard.”
Mississippi State (13-6, 3-3) was led by Roquez Johnson and I.J. Ready, who both had 13 points. The Bulldogs had a rough day at the free throw line, making just 6 of 14 (42.9 percent) attempts.
Ole Miss had a 42-32 rebounding advantage. Mississippi State’s starters combined for just 30 points.
Ole Miss has taken advantage of a relatively easy start to its SEC schedule, but harder games await. The Rebels have road games against Tennessee and Kentucky during the next two weeks, which should help determine if they’re a serious threat to challenge for the top of the league.
The Rebels looked the part on Saturday, pulling away from the Bulldogs despite Henderson’s rough shooting day.
Ole Miss was the aggressor early, with White and Summers slashing into the lane for easy buckets. The Rebels jumped out to a 20-11 lead and stayed at arm’s length for most of the first half despite battling foul trouble.
The Rebels led by as many as 13, but settled for a 38-27 halftime lead. Henderson had 10 first-half points despite making just 1 of 7 3-pointers.
Ole Miss jumped out quickly again in the second half. Mississippi State coach Rick Ray pulled his starters after a lethargic start, but the move backfired with Henderson and Perez hitting back-to-back 3s to push the Rebels ahead 51-32.