Ole Miss hung its 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament Champions banner from the rafters before the game, and the Rebels (10-4, 1-0 SEC) began their title defense with a 65-62 win over Auburn (8-4, 0-1 SEC) in the league opener Thursday night.
Without leading scorer and senior guard Marshall Henderson, four Rebels scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Derrick Millinghaus with 16 points, followed by junior guard Jarvis Summers with 14.
"We found a way to win," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "Ultimately, that's what we were trying to do and were fortunate enough to do. I played guys heavy minutes.
"Jarvis has been our MVP from day one this season, and he certainly didn't have his best game. He looked a little battle-fatigued. Derrick Millinghaus played 35 minutes. That's a lot. He made some big plays for us."
Ole Miss trailed 21-16 with 8:25 left in the first half when freshman forward Janari Joesaar checked into the game, his first action since the North Carolina A&T game on Nov. 26.
Joesaar sparked a 9-0 run, hitting a 3-pointer and then scoring on a put-back, as the Rebels took a 31-28 lead into halftime. The Tartu, Estonia, native finished with five points and three rebounds in nine minutes, all career highs.
"It was an opportunity for him," Kennedy said. "With Anthony being down, and we had Snoop pick up two early fouls, so we went deeper into the bench than we have been.
"They're zoning us, and the one thing Janari can do is make open shots. He gave us great minutes and good energy. I told the team that I thought he was the MVP of the game because when we were stagnant offensively, he gave us a big lift."
Early in the second half, Auburn went on a 10-0 run to take 38-33 lead before junior LaDarius White answered with a 3-pointer, his first points of the game. He then hit his second 3-pointer to tie the game at 41-41 with 10:39 left. He finished with 10 points, his first game scoring in double figures since the Louisiana-Monroe game on Dec. 18.
"Snoop stepped up," Kennedy said. "He missed a couple of big free throws. It would have been easy for him to drop his head, and then he stepped up and hit a huge three. He had a couple of really strong drives to the basket and was able to make some plays."
Down the stretch, junior forward Aaron Jones played big for the Rebels. He hit a jumper and then threw down a dunk to extend the lead to 62-57 with 1:46 left. He also grabbed a defensive rebound after a missed Auburn three-pointer when the Tigers were within three at 62-59. He filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, seven rebounds, five steals and five blocks.
Auburn had the ball down 65-62 with 16 seconds left, but the Tigers missed a three-pointer and were unable to corral the offensive rebound.
"The only guy on this year's team who had the same role as last year's team is Marshall Henderson, and he was not dressed out tonight," Kennedy said. "Everybody else has an expanded role, and with that comes more responsibility. You can't look around and think somebody is going to bail you out. Now, you're the guy, and you have to accept that responsibility, but that is a process"
Ole Miss continues SEC play on the road at Mississippi State on Saturday (3 p.m., ESPNU). The Bulldogs (10-4, 0-1 SEC) are coming off an 85-63 loss at No. 14 Kentucky in the SEC opener, having led 40-37 at halftime.
"They have the same cast as last year," Kennedy said. "Those guys have gotten older in Craig Sword, Fred Thomas, Gavin Ware, and Colin Borchert is a senior, so I know they have a number of different weapons. That place has never been very friendly to the Rebels."
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2013 World Championships,
2016 Summer Olympics,
Alabama Crimson Tide,
Armintie Price Herrington,
BBVA Compass Bowl,
Be The Fan,
Cal Ripken Senior League,
California Collegiate League,
Cape Cod League,
Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge,
Colorado Springs Sky Sox,
Dr. Jamil Northcutt;,
Engineers Without Border,
ESPN College Gameday,
Evan St. Laurent,
Florida State Seminoles,
Florida State Soccer,
Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl,
Franklin American Music City Bowl,
From The Vault,
Hard Core Fighter,
Jackson Touchdown Club,
Jeff Scott Hugh Freeze,
Los Angeles Sparks,
Mary Ashton Nall,
mary ashton nall,
Meet The Rebels Day,
Music City Bowl,
NCAA Baseball Tournament,
NCAA Doubles Final Four,
NCAA Tennis Final Four,
NFL Pro Bowl,
North Carolina State,
Ole Miss Athletics,
Ole Miss Athletics Foundation,
Ole Miss Baseball,
Ole Miss Basketball,
Ole Miss Engineering,
Ole Miss Football,
Ole Miss Foundation,
Ole Miss Hoops,
Ole Miss Men's Basketball,
Ole Miss Men's Golf,
Ole Miss Men's Hoops,
Ole Miss Men's Tennis,
Ole Miss Rebels,
Ole Miss Soccer,
Ole Miss Softball,
Ole Miss Tennis,
Ole Miss Track,
Ole Miss Track and Field,
Ole Miss Volleyball,
Ole Miss Women's Basketball,
Ole Miss Women's Golf,
Ole Miss Women's Tennis,
Rebel Media Day,
Rebel Road Trip,
Road To Omaha,
School of Education,
SEC Baseball Tournament,
SEC Media Days,
Spain National Team,
State of Ole Miss Athletics,
Under-19 World Championship,
Under-20 European Championships,
University of Mississippi,
USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships,
USA Track & Field,
Walk Out Songs,
William & Mary,
William Winter Institute,
Women's Basketball; Yolanda Moore,
Coach Freeze is a genuine coach and our players and fans adore him!! in post Vote Freeze For Coach Of The Year
Gary Vaughn said:
It's great to be a Rebel fan. Coach Freeze in post Vote Freeze For Coach Of The Year
Has brought back the excitement
Competitiveness we all so desire. The
fan base and even our doubters are
Paying attention. Even the whole country
Sport tLk shows ect. Are taking notice.
After we upset Alabama this weekend
38-27 we will bolt to a top 12 or better
Ranking. Go Rebels
I am not and never have been an Ole Miss fan. I am however a Coach Freeze fan. I like what he represents in today's world of big time sports and what he stands for in leading young men of today into a more responsible role. He is everything that Ole Miss has never had. I am on his band wagon winning or losing. in post Vote Freeze For Coach Of The Year
Cory Wilson said:
How can I get my hands on one of these? in post 2013 Fall Sports Player Posters
Dave Darnell said:
Gray pants with red and blue stripes on the legs have served Ole Miss football my entire life time. The blue on blue, red on red and white on white are hideous and UGLY! Leave the pants alone.
Dave Darnell in post New Football Uniforms Unveiled
Ole Miss '68
Tiger fan here (LSU) b we now have 3 in the SEC. You guys looked great last year. You looked coached, and the players were up for every game. Good to see you back in the hunt. in post Looking Ahead to 2013 On Gridiron
Brenda Maxie said:
Go Nephew congraulation on your trip to the olympics. Have a good time. in post UPDATE: Rebel. Champion. Olympian. Young's Blog
Go Isiah! Your Rebel family is pulling for you and can't wait to see you on the podium with your medal! in post UPDATE: Rebel. Champion. Olympian. Young's Blog
who will win the most gold medals?
http://www.formvote.com/discuss.php?postid=281510897524932 in post UPDATE: Rebel. Champion. Olympian. Young's Blog
BILL LOTT said:
GREAT JOB THIS YEAR GUYS - WISHING THE REBELS THE VERY BEST IN THE COMPASS BOWL - LETS PICK A FIGHT WITH PITT AND SHOW THEM WHAT OUR REBELS ARE ALL ABOUT. HOTTY-TODDY - GO REBELS. BE BLESSED AND GOOD LUCK! in post Some Notes On Bowl Trip