Ole Miss Knocks Off Arkansas In League Home Opener

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Ole Miss was forced to come up with new goals after season-ending knee injuries to a pair of starters and a top reserve prior to Southeastern Conference play.

"We want to be the most improved team in the SEC from the start to the finish," said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, after Wednesday's 74-65 win over Arkansas. "We took a big step toward that goal with this win.

Ole Miss, who never trailed, led by as many as 21 points in each half and placed four players in double figures, led by freshman Terrico White with a career high-tying 18 points. David Huertas scored 16 points, with four rebounds and two assists, while Zach Graham and Murphy Holloway added 12 and 11 points, respectively.

"The reality is Terrico White hasn't played point guard in his life until three games ago," Kennedy said. "It's been a bit of a challenge, but I thought he was tremendous tonight. A win like this shows what we're capable of."

The win continued the home court mastery over Arkansas, as the Rebels (10-6, 1-1) have won 13 of the last 14 games. Arkansas (12-3, 0-2) has dropped successive division games after riding a 10-game winning streak prior to SEC play.

Courtney Fortson had a game-high 24 points and Jason Henry added 19 points for the Razorbacks.

The Rebels built a 32-11 in the opening 15 minutes to take a 34-24 halftime lead. Ole Miss rebuilt the lead to 53-32 with 11:21 left and hit 16 of 18 free throws the rest of the way to seal it.

"It's so unreal to go from playing so well to playing so bad in the last two games," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "We're just not playing as well as we were. We're better than what we've performed in the last two games."

The Razorbacks got within 34-28 on a basket by Fortson with 18:23 left, but Ole Miss responded with a 19-4 run to put it away. Arkansas never got closer than nine points, which came within the final 15 seconds.

"We started clock watching in the final few minutes," Kennedy said. "But, except for a couple of minutes at the end of each half, we played well. After all our injuries, nobody has as much room to improve as us, but this was a great start for us."

Ole Miss finished 24 of 56, 43 percent, from the field and outrebounded Arkansas 36-34. The Razorbacks were 23 of 53, 43 percent, from the field, but managed only 3 of 15 from three-point range.


 

 

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