Rebels Hold Off Morgan State For 78-70 Win

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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy was relieved with his team's 78-70 win over Morgan State Saturday. But, he clearly struggled in the postgame press conference to find positives in the performance of the Rebels.

"Thank goodness we shot 15-of-16 from the free throw line," Kennedy said. "Chris Warren and David Huertas are playing and scoring well. Outside of that, there is nothing I can say other than we have to get better."

Warren and Huertas scored 25 and 22 points, respectively, and proved to be the decisive factor in the final nine minutes. The duo ignited a 14-0 run that included 10 points by Warren and a pair of baskets and three rebounds from Huertas.

Warren's layup with 4:25 left completed the series, giving Ole Miss (5-1) an insurmountable 74-61 lead. Morgan State managed only three baskets down the stretch, finishing 27-of-70, 38 percent, from the field.

"David is hooping it up and I'm hooping it up," said Warren, who added five assists and a career-high five steals. "We're getting better, but it's not going to happen overnight. But it's still a win and any win is a good win."

The Bears (2-5), led by Reggie Holmes and Rogers Barnes with 17 points apiece, made it tough on Ole Miss by winning the rebounding battle 43-35. The Bears, with Kevin Thompson getting a game-high 11 boards, pulled down 21 offensive rebounds.

"That's not good. You can't give up 21 offensive rebounds and expect to win. We were fortunate," Kennedy said. "We've got to get better there and we've got to find a third scorer. We've just got a lot of learning to do."

Morgan State had a 34-32 halftime lead and built their biggest lead, 39-32 with 19:10 left, on a three-point shot from Barnes.

The Rebels dominated the final nine minutes defensively, limiting Morgan State to three baskets. Ole Miss reclaimed the lead 63-61 with 8:38 left on a three-point play by Warren, starting the final decisive 14-0 run.

"It's a win, but we've got to get better," Kennedy said. "That's what concerns me. It's not one thing or one player. It's everything. We've got to get better."


 

 

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