Mississippi defeats East Tennessee State 77-55

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — It was not the type of offensive performance that Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy was hoping for Friday night, but it was good enough.

Marshall Henderson scored 22 points, including six 3-point shots, to lift the Rebels to a 77-55 win over scrappy, but short-handed East Tennessee State. The Rebels put four players in double figures and improved to 7-1 with the win.

Reginald Buckner scored 11 points while Nick Williams and Murphy Holloway added 10 points apiece for Ole Miss. Henderson made 7 of 15 field goals as the Rebels shot 43.8 percent (28 of 64) from the field.

"You can't keep winning with the amount of turnovers we're making," Kennedy said of his club's 18 turnovers. "I thought we were lethargic and again, we're just turning the ball over way too much."

The Rebels had enough to compensate for the mistakes. Ole Miss forced 22 turnovers by the Buccaneers (2-6), who are competing with eight eligible players. The Rebels outrebounded East Tennessee State 43-40 and blocked nine shots, including three by Buckner.

"Plus the Henderson kid can really shoot," East Tennessee State coach Murry Bartow said. "Ole Miss is a really nice team and can hurt you a lot of ways. But for the first 10 minutes, we could not have scripted it any better."

The Buccaneers led 16-13 after 10 minutes and had Holloway, the showcase performer for the Rebels, on the bench with foul trouble.

"We lose a lot of energy without Murphy on the floor," Kennedy said. "Our offense struggled, but defensively, we held them under 33 percent and 60 points for the game."

Ole Miss responded with a 15-1 run en route to a 33-22 halftime lead. Henderson, Jarvis Summers and Martavious Newby connected on 3-pointers in the decisive surge and the Rebels were never seriously threatened.

"I thought we were where we needed to be," Bartow said. "Then they hit us with the big run and even though we kept competing, we just didn't have any answers for them the rest of the way."

The Rebels connected on four 3-point shots, including a pair by Henderson, in the opening six minutes of the second half to build a 49-33 lead with 14:42 left. East Tennessee State never pulled within double digits again.

"Man, the turnovers. I don't know if we had butterfingers or what," Henderson said. "But when you're a shooter, you've got to keep shooting. We were able to get it done, but we've got to play better."

Lester Wilson led East Tennessee State (2-6) with 14 points. Jarvis Jones and Mario Stramaglia added 11 points apiece. The Buccaneers shot 32.7 percent (18 of 55) from the field.

"We didn't play as well as we're capable, but give them credit, too," Kennedy said. "We've still got some things we've got to get better on offensively, but we had enough good individual performances to be positive about this win."

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