Rebels Blast Gamecocks

OXFORD, Miss. - Senior guard Jarvis Summers led all scorers with 20 points, while junior guard Stefan Moody added 16 points, all in the second half, as Ole Miss rolled over South Carolina 65-49 on Saturday afternoon at the Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss (10-5, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) never trailed, leading for all but 1:11 of the contest and leading by as many as 16.

“We tried to show them a lot of positives coming out of the game against Kentucky, the biggest thing being the fight,” head coach Andy Kennedy said. “We were always in the fight. We were in the fight for the most part of the game today. This team has to stay in the fight. If it does, we have a ceiling that would be good for us to reach.”

For Summers, it was his third 20-point game in his last four games, his team-leading sixth 20-point game of the season. The Rebels shot 41 percent from the floor, but they were 7-of-14 from 3-point range and 18-of-22 from the free-throw line and committed just 10 turnovers.

“The biggest thing is Moody has become assertive, as opposed to watching Jarvis,” Kennedy said. “He’s become more assertive and now he’s helping Jarvis. A lot of times early in the season, we were ball-watching a lot. Everybody was watching Jarvis dribble around, and nobody knew how aggressive they needed to be. We’re starting to figure that out.”

Defensively, the Rebels held South Carolina (9-5, 0-2 SEC) to a season-low 49 points and forced 15 turnovers, turning them into 17 points.

“In the first half, our man defense was pretty good early, and then they started beating us with some dribble penetration,” Kennedy said. “They had strong, powerful guards who dribble through contact. In the second half, we really mixed and matched to try to keep them off balance. The zone defenses bothered them.”

Ole Miss led South Carolina 7-6 at the 15:42 mark in the first half, before a campus power glitch caused the light to go off and interrupted play for 23 minutes. The Rebels scored six of the first seven after the power outage and then used a 6-0 run to stretch their lead to 28-16 late in the half.

After starting 5-of-17 from the field, South Carolina made four of its last five shots in the first half, including three 3-pointers, to finish the half on an 11-5 run to cut the Ole Miss lead to 33-27 going into halftime.

South Carolina scored the first six points coming out of halftime, tying the game at 33-33 with 18:42 left. Ole Miss answered with an 8-1 run, sparked by a 3-pointer from Moody, his first points of the game, after playing just five minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. 

“He’s our playmaker,” said Kennedy of Moody. “Moody has the gear to separate, so we tried to put him into actions where he can get separation.”

The Gamecocks got to within five, down 45-40 with 14:15 left, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the way. A pair of free throws from Summers pushed the lead to double-digits for good, 59-48, with 4:07 left, on the way to the 65-49 final.

The Rebels continue their two-game home stand, hosting LSU on Wednesday night. Tip-off from Tad Smith Coliseum is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised by the SEC Network.


 

 

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