Ole Miss Basketball Defeats West Alabama 97-35 In Exhibition Action Saturday

Nov. 9, 2002

Box Score

OXFORD, Miss. - Freshman guard Trey Pearson led six Rebels in double figures with a game-high 18 points to lift Ole Miss to a 97-35 exhibition game victory over West Alabama, before a crowd of 856 at Tad Smith Coliseum Saturday. Pearson scored his 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from the three-point line.

Sophomore Justin Johnson added 17 points, while Derrick Allen had 14. Aaron Harper, John Gunn and Jonathan Loe each scored 10 points apiece. Pearson, Johnson, Gunn and Loe each grabbed 6 boards apiece to lead the Rebels.

"We played well for our first exhibition, but we still have some work to do," said fifth-year head coach Rod Barnes. "I saw some things I liked out there, and also saw some areas in which we need work. Overall, there were several positives that came out of today's game."

West Alabama's Raspanti Laneair scored the game's first basket at the 19:01 mark to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage, but it was a short-lived lead. The Rebels scored the next 35 points before West Alabama netted its second basket of the contest with 3:31 remaining before halftime. Johnson keyed the Rebels' first-half run with 12 points.

Ole Miss' defensive pressure held the Tigers to 14.3 percent shooting from the field in the first half, and Ole Miss also forced 16 West Alabama turnovers before intermission.

"We feel like we can defend with more pressure because of our depth this year," Barnes said. "We can get up and force turnovers with our pressure. When we get everybody back at full strength, you'll see us use more full-court pressure than what we did today."

 

 

In the second half, the Rebels continued to build on their lead, building the advantage to 51 points at 71-20 by the midway point of the second half.

Brandon Neloms led West Alabama with 14 points, and Raspanti Laneair added 10. Nic Cragg grabbed 6 rebounds for the Tigers.

Ole Miss shot 52.1 percent from the field and 77.3 percent from the foul line. The Tigers ended the game shooting 20.8 percent from the floor. The Rebels forced 30 Tiger turnovers and won the battle on the boards 50-31.

The Rebels return to action Nov. 16 when they host Athletes In Action in their second exhibition contest. Game time is 3:00 p.m. (CT) at Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss begins regular-season play Nov. 24 at East Carolina.

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