OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss had an opportunity to move into a tie for third place in the SEC standings against Vanderbilt, but the Commodores proved too much as they defeated the Rebels 102-76 Thursday night.
Jarvis Summers scored a team-high 14 points and dished out five assists and Murphy Holloway finished with 13 points and six rebounds for the Rebels (15-10, 5-6 SEC).
The Commodores (18-8, 7-4) raced out to a 53-28 first half lead behind the SEC’s two leading scorers, Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins.
Taylor finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and three assists, and Jenkins added 26 points to lead the Commodores, who shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the floor.
It was a nip-and-tuck first 10 minutes, as the Rebels, behind solid inside play and perimeter shooting, countered an early onslaught from Taylor, who scored 13 of the Commodores’ first 18 points.
Holloway gave the Rebels an early 6-5 lead at the 17:37 mark on a put-back layup. The Commodores responded by scoring six unanswered points before Summers was fouled as he drained a three-pointer. Summers knocked down the free throw to complete the four-point play.
The Rebels would get within one for the fourth and final time when Demarco Cox hammered down a dunk off a beautiful feed from Jelan Kendrick to cut the Vanderbilt lead to 22-21. .
But cold shooting and the shot-blocking ability of Vanderbilt big man Festus Ezeli would hinder the Rebels for the remainder of the half, as the Commodores went on a 31-7 run to stretch the lead to 25 at halftime.
Vanderbilt, the SEC’s leading three-point shooting team, drained 10-of-12 treys and shot 70.8 percent from the floor in the first half.
The Rebels, after shooting 33.3 percent in the opening half, were sharper on offense in the second, knocking down their first four shots out of the break.
Fouls would prevent the Rebels from drawing close, as the Commodores went 30-of-38 from the free throw line, attempting 26 from the charity stripe in the second half.
Ole Miss dominated the offensive glass, pulling down 21 offensive rebounds—the fourth time that the Rebels have totaled more than 20 this season.
The Rebels will be back in action on Saturday, as they travel to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., for a battle with SEC-leader No. 1 Kentucky. Tipoff is slated for 4:00 ET and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
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