Coastal Carolina gave Ole Miss a scare early with a 39-36 lead at halftime, but junior guard Marshall Henderson helped bring the Rebels (2-0) back, as they dominated the second half and won 90-72.
Henderson led the team in scoring with 27 points, his second straight 20-plus point game to begin his Ole Miss career. He buried six 3-pointers on 13 attempts and has been a source of enthusiasm for the team and the fans.
“Someone had to come out and be an energy guy,” Henderson said. “The crowd was a little dead. So you (have to) do something to pick it up.”
Henderson played to the crowd many times after knocking down a shot or distributing one of his four assists.
“He’s got passion,” head coach Andy Kennedy said. “There’s a big difference between passion and emotion. Passion is good, emotion is bad.”
Coastal Carolina (1-1) had a lot of success around the basket in the first half, as they had 16 points in the paint and outrebounded Ole Miss 22-14 after 20 minutes.
“I didn’t like our approach at all,” Kennedy said. “We were flat. I didn’t think we were as engaged early. We had a talk about some things at the half, and I thought our upperclassmen, most especially, stepped up in the second half.”
Ole Miss began to see success when they went inside early in the second half. Senior forward Murphy Holloway recorded his second double-double in as many games this season with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“We tried to make a concerted effort to attack them inside out,” Kennedy said.
Holloway’s frontcourt mate, senior Reginald Buckner, who fouled out with 6:48 left in the game, had no points or rebounds in the first half, but finished with six points and two rebounds.
Sophomore forward Aaron Jones played 25 minutes and finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Senior guard Nick Williams added 11 points, as four Rebels scored in double figures.
Freshman guard Derrick Millinghaus scored four points in his first career start, in place of sophomore guard Jarvis Summers. Summers, who missed some practice this week with a slight knee injury, played 24 minutes and finished with nine points and six assists.
Junior forward Jason Carter missed his second game due to a “violation of team rules,” and junior forward Demarco Cox remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
Anthony Raffa led Coastal Carolina with 20 points. Raffa, who averaged over 16 points per game last season, has scored in double digits in 11 straight games, dating back to last season.
Ole Miss will look to improve to 3-0 when they take on the University of Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday at 7 p.m. from Tad Smith Coliseum.
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