Rebels turn away Cowboys in nonconference game

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Murphy Holloway scored 15 points, Reginald Buckner added 13 and Ole Miss cruised to a 76-50 victory over McNeese

State on Tuesday.

Holloway missed most of the first half

after picking up two early fouls as the Rebels took a 39-30 halftime

lead. But the

senior returned in the second half to score 12 of his 15 points.

He finished 7 of 7 from the field and added nine rebounds.

“This is a game that I felt like we were sleepwalking for the majority of it,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said.

Marshall Henderson went into the game leading the Southeastern Conference with 22 points per game, but scored nine points.

The Rebels (4-0) were without Derrick

Millinghaus (9.7 ppg), a 5-foot-10 freshman guard who had surgery to

repair a torn meniscus

on Tuesday. He’s expected to miss about four weeks.

McNeese (1-3) was led by Desharick Guidry’s double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds. Kevin Hardy added 11.

The Cowboys, who lost their third straight — all on the road, committed 20 turnovers, which the Rebels converted into 23 points.

The Rebels outrebounded McNeese 47-31.

The score doesn’t really indicate it, but I thought we got better,” said Cowboys head coach Dave Simmons. “I saw some good things tonight and saw some improvements. I was proud of the way we fought back there at the end of the first half. I thought we got better. I saw some guys challenge

each other tonight.”

Holloway’s energy and production helped

the Rebels push their halftime lead to 54-35 with 13:20 remaining. The

6-foot-7, 240-pound

junior was providing his usual muscle in the paint, but was also

effective in the open floor, hitting Buckner for a pair of

alley-oop dunks as the Rebels put the game out of reach.

“Murphy (Holloway) is our energy, and

when he sat out all of except of six minutes of first half, I thought we

were really

lethargic,” Kennedy said. “We didn’t play well. I thought it was

the worst game of the year for 40 minutes. We guarded in

the second half. We stopped giving up so many second chance

opportunities. Murphy’s energy really propelled us. We never got

in any offensive rhythm whatsoever, but we’ll take it. We’ll take

our fourth win.”

“They’re a very good basketball team,” Simmons said. “They have size. They can rebound the ball and they can pick it up and

go.”

Buckner was 6 of 6 from the floor and added seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

Henderson hit his first 3-pointer, but then went cold. The 6-foot-2 junior shot 3 of 12 from the field, including 2 of 10

from 3-point range.

Nick Williams added 10 points.

Demarco Cox scored four points and

grabbed three rebounds in his first action this season after missing the

first three games

with a foot injury. The 6-8, 272-pound junior provides a big body

in the paint who was a capable backup for Holloway and Buckner

last season.