OXFORD, Miss. – Four Rebels scored in double figures as Ole Miss defeated USC-Aiken 75-70 in overtime FridayNight.
Sophomore Derrick Millinghaus led all scorers with 15 points off the bench, juniors LaDarius White and Jarvis Summer finished with 13 points each and fellow junior Demarco Cox added 11 points and eight boards.
“We did some good things,” head coach Andy Kennedy said. “Coming into the exhibition game, I was trying to get guys minutes. Demarco got better as the game went along. It was good to get the new guys like (Sebastian) Saiz and (Dwight) Coleby some minutes and into a flow, so they could get some jitters out before it counts for real.
“I kept waiting for our upperclassmen to make plays, and we made a few down the stretch, which allowed us to win.”
Defensively, Ole Miss held USC-Aiken to 39.7 shooting on the night and outrebounded the Pacers 48-44. Sophomore Martavious Newby, who got the start at one guard position, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
“It’s all about hustle for him and playing harder and being where he’s supposed to be,” said Kennedy, of Newby. “He earned his way into that starting lineup because of the things he’s doing in those effort areas, and that’s what showed tonight.”
Ole Miss took a 37-32 lead into halftime and stretched its lead to 50-40 on a layup by Newby. USC-Aiken answered with a 17-5 lead to take a 57-55 lead with 5:10 left in the second half.
Millinghaus hit two free throws to tie the game at 57-57, then it was a back-and- forth game, with the Rebels regaining the lead at 64-61 on a 3-pointer by White with 1:23 left. Two possessions later, DeVontae Wright, who led USC-Aiken with 14 points, hit a game-tying three with 27 second left to send the game into overtime at 64-64.
In the overtime period, Millinghaus broke the 64-64 tie with a steal and layup in transition, and the Rebels stretched their lead to 73-68 with 43 seconds left. USC-Aiken got to within two at 73-70, but freshman Sebastian Saiz, who led the newcomers with seven points and six rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, hit one of two free throws, to make it a two-possession game at 74-70.
Ole Miss will open the regular season Friday against Troy at 7:30 p.m. from the Tad Smith Coliseum.
— Daniel Snowden, Ole Miss Sports Information