Marshall Henderson started slow, caught fire then got stopped in his tracks.
The Tennessee men’s basketball team beat Ole Miss 86-70 at Thompson Boling Arena on Wednesday night.
While the Rebels’ star senior guard scored 26 points, the Vols clamped down when it mattered most, holding Henderson to just six more points once the Rebels came within five (50-45) with 14 minutes to play.
“Marshall. Marshall. Marshall,” the UT student section shouted as the Vols beat the polarizing player for the first time.
With the win, UT (13-7, 4-3 SEC) snapped a three-game losing streak to the Rebels (14-5, 5-1) and kept them from claiming back to back wins in Knoxville since they did it in 1979 and 80.
Jordan McRae scored 26 of his own, rebounding from his season-low five-point performance in a loss at Florida last Saturday. Jeronne Maymon and Josh Richardson both scored 16. Jarnell Stokes pulled down 13 points and 14 rebounds.
UT had a 19-point lead with 2:23 to play in the first half. But the Rebels closed the half on an 11-4 run that hinged on a quickly heating Henderson, who went to the side line with what looked like a sore hip.
When he checked back in, the Vols led 13-4 with 15:12 to play in the first half. His first two 3-pointers failed to draw iron. His first of nine successful 3-pointers found the net 6:24 left in the first half. He sank his first 3-pointer of the second half and was off and running again — until the Vols cooled him off.
After saying he wasn’t sure if he would change his starting rotation after poor guard play in the Vols’ blowout loss to Florida last Saturday, Martin decided to switch things up. He started freshman point guard Darius Thompson ahead of senior Antonio Barton. Thompson had seven points and seven assists.