Ole Miss Defeats Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 98-47 In Season Opener
Nov. 18, 2000
OXFORD, Miss. -- Mississippi extended the third-longest homecourt winning streak against non-conference opposition in the nation to 36 Saturday, defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday, 98- 47.
Rahim Lockhart recorded his 15th career double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the Rebels. Freshmen Aaron Harper and Justin Reed added 17 and 13 points, respectively, as Ole Miss overcame a sluggish start for the win.
"There have been some upsets and I was a bit concerned that maybe we weren't giving them the respect we should have," Ole Miss coach Rod Barnes said. "But it's a win and we need wins, because we need confidence. We just didn't start too well."
Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, led 10-9 with 12:23 left in the first half on Jeremy Johnson's baseline jumper. The Lions hit five of its first nine shots from the field.
Ole Miss went on an 18-2 tear over a four-minute stretch to gain control. Jason Flanigan and Harper dropped three-point shots and Reed added five points and four rebounds inside to highlight the surge.
"When you've got so many young players, sometimes they are all ears and all eyes in an opener," Barnes said. "But our seniors, Lockhart and Flanigan stepped up with a lot of fire and showed the leadership to get us where we needed to go."
The Rebels closed the first half with a 24-5 run, including 11 consecutive points by Harper and Reed, for a 51-20 halftime lead. Arkansas-Pine Bluff never got closer than 25 points again.
Ole Miss continued to pull away in the second half, leading by 50 points with six minutes remaining on a Jason Holmes jumper. The largest margin, 98-44, came in the final minute, on a Josh Hayes free throw.
Ole Miss had a balanced offensive effort,with 13 different
players scoring at least one basket. Arkansas-Pine Bluff got 11
points apiece from guards Billy Hall and Brandon Jones.
"I think the most gratifying thing tonight was the way every time a new guy came in, he we mentally ready," Barnes said. "That comes off your leadership and shows this group is listening to what we're saying. We've still got to get better, but this is a good start."
The 51-point win tied for sixth on the all-time list for margin for victory by the Rebels. Ole Miss also extended its unbeaten streak against SWAC teams to 19 games. The Rebels continue non-conference play Wednesday, hosting Sam Houston State.
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