Mississippi rallies in 2nd half to beat Louisiana 94-76
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Terence Davis scored 21 points and sparked a decisive second-half surge as Mississippi rallied Friday night to defeat Louisiana 94-76.
Ole Miss turned a 13-0 run, including two highlight-type plays by Davis, to build an insurmountable 70-57 lead with 10:22 remaining. Louisiana never got closer than 11 points in the final two minutes.
Marcanvis Hymon had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds in a balanced scoring attack for the Rebels. Deandre Burnett scored 17 points, Devontae Shuler had 14 and Breein Tyree added 10.
“I thought we settled in during the second half after forcing some things and being tight in the first half,” Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. “Louisiana had a lot to do with that. For us, Hymon especially, had a really good game against a really good team.”
Louisiana put four players in double figures, led by Johnathan Stove with 16 points. Cedric Russell scored 15 points, while Justin Miller and Marcus Stroman had 12 points each. The Rajin’ Cajuns led by 10 points in the first half and 42-40 at halftime.
“We’re disappointed, because we came here to win; not challenge, but win,” Louisiana coach Bob Marlin said. “We were there for a half, but we couldn’t match their energy and got beat by 20 in the second half.”
Ole Miss shot 33 of 65 (51 percent), including 7 of 21 from 3-point range. The Rebels finished 21 of 31 from the free-throw line, 13 of 15 in the second half.
Louisiana shot 26 of 71 (36 percent) from the field. The Rajin’ Cajuns had 10 second-half turnovers.
Louisiana: The Rajin’ Cajuns, winners of 84 games in the past four seasons, made it uncomfortable for the Rebels until the final 10 minutes. Louisiana got 32 points off the bench and 17 points off turnovers to stay within striking distance. Stroman had a team-high five assists.
Ole Miss: The Rebels traditionally use non-conference games to use a variety of lineups and nine-man combinations with equally distributed playing time. Juco transfer Bruce Stevens had nine points in nine rebounds in 16 minutes to provide a noticeable inside presence.
Kennedy, known for his sharp and sarcastic wit, was asked in the postgame press conference how many players he would like to use in the early season rotations.
“Twenty-six. That’s ideal for me in a player rotation,” said Kennedy, who used nine players with at least 10 minutes apiece. “I’ll check my scholarship limit, but I think I can get it up to that (26) in two years. But seriously, we will need our depth to show this season.”
Louisiana hosts Louisiana College in its home opener on Tuesday.
Ole Miss hosts Eastern Kentucky on Monday.