No. 15 Rebels Hold Off LSU With 74-71 Victory

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Eniel Polynice and Chris Warren both scored 15 points and No. 16 Ole Miss escaped with a 74-71 win over undermanned LSU on Saturday.

Kenny Williams had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Rebels (14-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference), who used a 21-5 first-half run and their muscle to build a 14-point halftime lead. Then they held on during three second-half rallies by the Tigers (7-9, 0-2), who opened with two SEC losses for the first time since 2001.

LSU was without two starters due to injuries and dressed only nine players, but played much better than in its conference season-opening loss to Mississippi State. The Tigers, who scored 39 points in that game, pushed the Rebels to the end Saturday.

The Rebels have won three straight over the Tigers and improved to 24-1 at home since coach Andy Kennedy took over last season. They also successfully bounced back from Wednesday's disheartening 85-83 loss at No. 8 Tennessee.

It was the 14th straight loss for the Tigers on an opponent's home court dating to December 2006. LSU is 1-8 this season away from Baton Rouge, including neutral site games.

Marcus Thornton scored 25 points, Anthony Randolph had 18 and Garrett Temple added 16 for LSU.

Thornton cut Ole Miss' lead to three with two straight 3-pointers to end the game.

Ole Miss started its 21-5 run with a 13-0 spurt fueled by five points from Warren and four from Polynice. Dwayne Curtis hit two short jumpers in the second half of the Rebels' run and Malcolm White's tip-in with 10:31 left made it 23-12.

The Rebels outscored the Tigers 14-4 in the last 4 1/2 minutes of the first half. Ole Miss hit four 3-pointers over that span, including David Huertas' 35-footer at the halftime buzzer for a 43-29 lead.

Ole Miss built a lead of 22 points after holding LSU to nine points in the first 9 minutes of the second half. But LSU rallied with an 18-2 run that White, a freshman playing for injured starter Jeremy Parnell, ended by scoring four straight points. And Curtis stopped a second run with a three-point play that made it 69-61 with 2:02 left.

Thornton cut the lead to three in the final minute, but the Tigers were unable to get a clear 3-point shot on their last two possessions.

White finished with 12 points and six rebounds in his first significant playing time and Curtis had 11 points.

The Rebels continued their season-long dominance on the boards, outrebounding LSU 39-31.

Ole Miss entered the game seventh in the nation with 42.9 rebounds per game and still has not been outrebounded this season. LSU, meanwhile, has been outrebounded in nine straight games by a total of 86.

The Rebels outscored LSU 38-32 in the paint and perhaps most importantly the Ole Miss bench outscored LSU's 18-8.


 

 

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