OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -Marshall Henderson was hitting from outside. Murphy Holloway was dominant down low.
When those two things are happening at the same time, Ole Miss is an awfully tough basketball team to beat.
Henderson poured in 31 points and Holloway added 24 as Ole Miss cruised to a 93-75 victory over Mississippi State on Wednesday night. The relatively easy victory stopped a two-game losing streak, but coach Andy Kennedy wasn't particularly pleased with the performance, especially considering a road game against Missouri looms on Saturday.
"I thought for 20 to 25 minutes we played reasonable basketball," Kennedy said. "We're going to have to do that for 40 minutes (against Missouri)."
But even with the uneven performance, Ole Miss (18-4, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) poured in the points against the overmatched Bulldogs.
Mississippi State scored the game's first basket, but then the Rebels reeled off 19 straight points and were never seriously challenged the rest of the evening.
Henderson scored just five points in the first half but hit five 3-pointers in the second half to help Ole Miss stay far out of Mississippi State's reach. Holloway shot 9 of 12 from the field and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The Rebels shot 30 of 59 (51 percent) from the field.
Mississippi State (7-14, 2-7) has lost seven straight. Craig Sword led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
Mississippi State's first basket was on a Gavin Ware putback. That's pretty much where the good news ended for the Bulldogs.
Ole Miss dominated for most of the first half, driving to the basket at will against the Bulldogs' half-court defense. Holloway was particularly good, hitting all six of his shots in the first half as the Rebels pushed out to a 42-23 lead by halftime.
"I think I was just taking my time," Holloway said. "They weren't very big in the post, so I got a lot of tip-ins and things like that."
Mississippi State tried to mount a rally in the second half, but every time the Bulldogs made some headway, Ole Miss answered. The Bulldogs cut the lead down to 75-65 on a Fred Thomas 3-pointer with 3:44 remaining, but Henderson responded with his sixth 3-pointer of the night.
Henderson had a quiet first half but got going after the break, hitting clutch 3-pointers to help stave off every Mississippi State rally. He easily topped his SEC-leading scoring average of 19.5 points per game, making 8 of 18 shots from the field, including 6 of 14 from 3-point range. He also made 9 of 10 free throws.
Ole Miss played its second straight game without guard Nick Williams, who is battling a foot injury. The fifth-year senior is averaging close to 10 points per game. Kennedy has said he expects Williams back soon — possibly in time for Saturday's game at Missouri.
Mississippi State's losing streak has now spanned more than three weeks, and the same problems — turnovers, spotty shooting, foul trouble and porous half-court defense — keep holding the Bulldogs back.
"I just thought we did a poor job of taking away things that Ole Miss is good at," Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said. "We didn't do a good job at all contending Marshall Henderson on his cuts. He got way too easy looks on free cuts. And Murphy Holloway has 24 points — we can't have any success when their best two players do that."
Mississippi State did shoot 18 of 32 (56.3 percent) from the field in the second half, but it wasn't enough to overcome the big hole the Bulldogs dug in the first half.
Jalen Steele scored 15 points and Fred Thomas added 13 points and six rebounds. The Bulldogs had 17 turnovers.
Kennedy now has 143 career wins, which is just one behind B.L. Graham for the school record.
We begin this week with the last moment in 1996. Moment No. 21 was a team accomplishment led by Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. Chadwick took over the Ole Miss men's tennis program in 1983. And from that time,... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewMarch 3-10, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss improved to 14-2 on the season with a series sweep of UALR this past weekend that included the team's fifth walk-off win of the season.- The Rebels moved up to... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy's time on the SEC teleconference Monday as well as selected questions and answers from Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray, Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings and Georgia head coach Mark Fox.Ole Miss... read more
Long-time Ole Miss athletic trainer Leroy Mullins will be inducted into the Southeast Athletic Trainers' Association Hall of Fame later this month. He will be recognized at the organization's annual clinical symposium March 14-16 at the Crown Plaza Ravinia Hotel... read more
THE SEASON: Ole Miss Basketball (2014) - Episode 7 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, here are each of the first six episodes of The Season: Ole Miss Basketball:Episode 1 (Season overview, Auburn, Mississippi State games)Episode... read more
In less than a full indoor season with the Ole Miss track & field team, Australian distance runner Daniel Bulmer has had a significant impact on the school record books and set the stage for a lot more to come... read more
What a Win tonight... Very Proud of our team #ProudCoach #Passion #Process #1MISSion-- Matt Insell (@minsell) March 6, 2014 What a great win for our program tonight! This team has come so far! Watch us take on Auburn tomorrow night... read more
Proceeding from 1995 to 1996, we will highlight moment No. 23 in head coach Billy Chadwick's career. This particular moment will accentuate a tremendous individual accomplishment. In 1996, Sweden's Johan Hede became the first Rebel in Ole Miss tennis history... read more
The Ole Miss women's basketball team looks to carry the momentum from a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day this past Sunday into this week's Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Rebels are... read more
Ole Miss and Arkansas are both looking to improve their Southeastern Conference standing and possibly play their way into a top-four seed and a double bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament next week in Atlanta. The Rebels are... read more