OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Murphy Holloway has huge, broad shoulders and uses his left hand on nearly every drive to the basket.
The Ole Miss senior has been doing it for four seasons, so it's no secret. Missouri was completely ready for it.
And the Tigers could do nothing to stop it.
Holloway scored a game-high 22 points, repeatedly getting his chiseled 6-foot-7, 240-pound body into good position and finishing at the rim, to lead Ole Miss to a surprisingly easy 64-49 victory over No. 10 Missouri on Saturday.
"He's an all-league player and we were getting the ball to his big, broad shoulders and that left hand," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "He's a man. If the season ended today, and I wish it did because we'd be the champions, he would be the league MVP."
Jarvis Summers added 12 points. He and Holloway helped offset a mediocre night from Marshall Henderson, the SEC's leading scorer who finished with only 11 points on 4 of 11 shooting.
Ole Miss (13-2, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) led the entire game, jumping out to an early 9-0 lead thanks to timely shooting and superior defense. Holloway was nearly unstoppable in the paint, making 8 of 12 shots from the field and 6 of 10 free throws.
"You know there's a little extra motivation against the No. 10 team in the nation," Holloway said. "It's motivation. You want to beat them, show them that they're not that good. We had to make those (hustle) plays to beat that team."
Missouri (12-3, 1-1) was without leading scorer Laurence Bowers, who is out with a sprained MCL in his right knee, and it was obvious the offense missed him. The Tigers were led by 13 points from Jabari Brown.
"It was really difficult (without Bowers) and it really affected us I thought at the start of the game," Missouri coach Frank Haith said. "But hats off to Ole Miss - we just didn't execute well."
Missouri pulled to 41-33 with 16 minutes remaining, but couldn't get any closer. The Rebels' defense was suffocating for most of the night, forcing 19 turnovers. And it seemed like every time there was a loose ball, an Ole Miss player would emerge from the pile with possession.
"I don't think they ever got in an offensive rhythm and that's a tribute to how much effort our guys had defensively," Kennedy said.
The convincing victory capped an impressive week to open SEC play. The Rebels beat Tennessee on the road on Wednesday.
"Right out of the chute we got challenged by a Tennessee team on the road and then we come back to one of the best teams in the country in our own building," Kennedy said. "We just did what we were supposed to do. We protected home floor. If you have any aspirations of playing meaningful basketball in March, that's what you have to do."
The Tigers needed nearly seven minutes to score their first basket. Missouri shot just 11 of 33 (33 percent) in the first half.
Ole Miss wasn't much better on offense early, shooting 38 percent from the field in the first half, but did enough to take a 31-22 lead into halftime. Derrick Millinghaus led the Rebels with 8 first half points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Henderson scored 32 points in the Rebels' SEC opening victory against Tennessee, but it was obvious that Mizzou had reviewed that game tape, and Tiger defenders were draped all over him every possession. He made just 2 of 8 attempts from 3-point range.
But Holloway picked up the offensive slack, constantly slashing into the lane and finishing with his left hand over taller Missouri defenders. He's the only player in the SEC averaging a double-double and he had another complete game on Saturday, adding eight rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.
Even without Bowers, Missouri figured to make some sort of run with Earnest Ross, Alex Oriakhi, and Phil Pressey all scoring in double figures this season. But the shots never fell on a consistent basis.
Keion Bell scored 11 points and Pressey added 10 for the Tigers.
It was a physical game and Ole Miss consistently won the interior battles. The Rebels had 20 attempts from the free throw line, making 15, while Missouri was just 5 of 6.
"We were way too timid and missed a lot of (close shots)," Haith said. "With just 49 points, our offense was really poor."
Ole Miss is not known for raucous basketball crowds, but Tad Smith Coliseum was sold out and loud for this one. The Rebels are 7-19 against ranked opponents under Kennedy.
"It gives us a lot of confidence," Holloway said. "We feel like we can play with anybody now."
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more
Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more
Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more
In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more
The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama. - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more
With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more
Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more
Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more
Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more
With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more