Fast Start Gives No. 20 Ole Miss Holiday Rout

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Terrico White scored 17 points, Eniel Polynice added 13 and No. 20 Ole Miss dominated Centenary 108-64 on Saturday.

The Rebels (10-1) won their sixth straight by blitzing the Gents (4-6) early, building a 24-2 lead to start the game, then maintaining focus throughout their most lopsided win of the season.

Ole Miss shot 67.7 percent from the field, by far their best shooting percentage of the season, and dominated in the paint with a 50-28 advantage over Centenary, a Summit League school that plans to drop to Division III next season.

It was the first time this season the Rebels surpassed 100 points.

Jerrald Bonham had 19 points for Centenary and Matt Marseille added 15.

The Rebels held the Gents to one field goal in the first 8:29 and without a point for a span of 6:30 during the game-starting run. They led by as much as 48-14 late in the first half and were up 52-22 at halftime.

It was an impressive start for a team that's been slow out of the blocks in its previous three games. Ole Miss was forced to come from behind in wins over Southern Miss, McNeese State and Texas-El Paso, but put it all together against Centenary.

The Rebels needed a little confidence going into Wednesday's game at No. 6 West Virginia and Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy's old boss, Bob Huggins, and seemed to get it against Centenary. Though not without a warning from Kennedy after a sketchy start to the second half.

Ole Miss missed an alley-oop attempt on its first possession of the second half, then left Centenary open for a 3. Kennedy called a timeout 18 seconds in and lit into his team, which got the message and extended the lead throughout the second half to send the Gents to their fourth straight loss.

Ole Miss' frontcourt was especially effective early against Centenary, scoring 15 of the team's first 20 points. DeAundre Cranston hit back-to-back 3-pointers when left open on the wing to highlight a 20-0 run. Reginald Buckner fired home a pair of flying dunks off his teammates' misses during a 12-2 run that made it 38-11 and Zach Graham and White combined on a 10-0 run for the 34-point lead, the biggest of the first half.

Polynice had six assists to lead the Rebels, who finished one shy of the school record with 32 assists. Murphy and Graham scored 12 apiece for Ole Miss, while Daman Starring added 14 for Centenary.


 

 

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