Ole Miss opened its season against Troy without Marshall Henderson. The Rebels got by just fine.
Jarvis Summers scored a career-high 28 points, besting the 27 he scored as a freshman against Penn State, in leading Ole Miss (1-0) to a 69-54 season-opening win. Most of his damage came in the first half. He totaled 22 of Ole Miss’ 39 points on 9 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 4 from 3.
He finished 10 of 19 from the floor and 5 of 10 from 3.
“He was huge,” Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. “When you’re void of offense, you need guys to step up.”
Summers stepped up in a big way.
Ole Miss held its largest lead, 51-33, midway through the second half. However, a 16-8 run pulled the Trojans to within 10 with 6:39 to play. Summers responded with a 3-point make, plus the foul, to extend the Rebel lead to 14.
Ole Miss cruised from there.
“I love to shoot the ball,” Summers said, adding he knew he was in for a good scoring night after his second shot attempt. “The ball was feeling good, so I said I’m going to keep shooting and see what happens.”
Summers started 31 games last season, primarily at point guard. He played mostly off the ball Friday night, shouldering the scoring burden from the position usually manned by Henderson, who missed sat for the first of a three-game suspension.
Henderson, the team’s lone senior, will make his season debut next Friday at Coastal Carolina.
“I’ve been challenging him to look to score more,” Kennedy said of the decision to play Summers off the ball. “When he has the ball at the point, he’s more of a facilitator. It was one of the things I was trying to do, was to get him more aggressive.
“My hope is this is impetus for him to know that he needs to be a double-digit scorer for us night in and night out.”
Derrick Millinghaus was second on the team with 13 points. Aaron Jones led the team with 13 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, and six points. Demarco Cox chipped in six points and seven rebounds.
The Rebels shot 34.7 percent (25-72) from the floor. They were 21.4 percent (6-28) from 3. Tevin Calhoun and Kevin Thomas scored 11 points apiece to lead Troy (0-1). Ole Miss won the rebounding battle, 53-38. The Rebels grabbed a whopping 26 offensive boards.
Ole Miss attempted 72 shots to 49 for Troy.
“That was the difference in the game,” Kennedy said of the rebounding differential. “Both teams really struggled making shots. But the difference in the game is we got 23 more field goal attempts. We were really big off the offensive glass. Kept possessions alive.”
— Ben Garrett, OMSpirit.com, Staff Writer