White Debuts In 80-56 Rout Of Delta Devils
LaDarius White (photo by Robert Jordan)

Dec. 10, 2011

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OXFORD, Miss. - (AP) Freshman guard LaDarius White spent eight games watching from the sidelines while he finished up academic requirements and waited for NCAA clearance to make his debut.

When the debut finally arrived Saturday, White was ready, scoring 16 points to help give Ole Miss an 80-56 win over Mississippi Valley State.

"I learned something watching from the sidelines," said White, who completed the course work on Friday and was officially cleared on the morning of game day by the NCAA. "I learned you have to bring confidence and fire."

White hit 6 of 12 from the field, including four from three-point range and added six rebounds and four assists. The total floor game was especially appreciated by Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy.

"It was a terrific first performance and he has worked hard to get eligible," Kennedy said. "What you saw today was what we've seen in him throughout practice and why we signed him."

Ole Miss (8-1) put five players in double figures, led by White. Dundrecous Nelson had 14 points, Reginald Buckner scored 11 points with 10 rebounds, Murphy Holloway and Terrance Henry added 10 points apiece.

Paul Crosby scored 16 points, Falondo Jones had 13 and Terrance Joyner added 12 for Mississippi Valley State (1-8).

Mississippi Valley State led 16-15 midway through the first half on the strength of six points and four rebounds in the opening 10 minutes from Paul Crosby.

Ole Miss answered with a decisive 17-0 run, including four three-point shots from White, to take a 32-16 lead with 2:48 remaining. Mississippi Valley State never got closer than 16 points again.

Ole Miss led 41-22 at halftime and continued to pull away in the second half. The Rebels led by as many as 28 points, on a three-point shot from Nelson for a 73-45 lead with 4:25 remaining.

Despite the loss, Mississippi Valley State coach Sean Woods continued to see improvement against a rugged non-conference road schedule that includes three SEC schools, two from the Big East and North Carolina.

"Our guys are playing hard and this is going to help us when we start SWAC (conference) play," Woods said. "Our non-conference schedule may be the toughest in America, but our players aren't backing down and I'm encouraged by our progress."

The Delta Devils shot 19 of 64 from the field, 29.7 percent, from the field and managed only 11 of 22, 50 percent from the free throw line with five misses in bonus situations.

Ole Miss was 29 of 55, 52.7 percent, from the field, including 8 of 18, 44.4 percent, from three-point range. The Rebels out rebounded Mississippi Valley State 48-30 and blocked a school-record 12 shots, including six from Buckner.

"Buckner is a factor when he's on the floor and playing defense and we knew Valley was going to bring it hard to us," Kennedy said. "Their schedule is incredible and since this was their first game to be played in the state of Mississippi for them, we knew we'd have to grind it out."

The Rebels are also expected to add Jelan Kendrick to complete their roster Monday. Kendrick, a freshman transfer forward from Memphis, is the first McDonald's All-American selection to play at Ole Miss.

Kendrick completed his academic requirements Friday and should be cleared by the NCAA before Wednesday's home date with Louisiana Lafayette.

 

 

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