Ole Miss held Southern to 38 points, the lowest by a Rebel opponent since 2011, on the way to a 69-38 win Thursday night. The Rebels limited the Jaguars to just 28 percent shooting and forced 22 turnovers.
“For three games, we have guarded,” head coach Andy Kennedy said. “Our field-goal percentage defense, which is the biggest barometer of whether you’re defending is around 30 percent. We’re doing a better job guarding off first shot. We were outrebounded in game one, and we have been much better the last two games.”
Ole Miss placed two in double figures, led by junior guard Stefan Moody with 13 points, followed by senior guard LaDarius White with 12 points, who each scored in double figures for the second straight game.
As a team, the Rebels shot 40 percent from the field and 5-of-15 from 3-point range, but they overcame those numbers by winning the rebounding battle, 45-38, and scoring 21 points off turnovers.
“Offensively, it’s hard to find a rhythm,” Kennedy said. “I could make an excuse that it’s because I’m subbing so frequently, but we’re just not executing to the level we’re going to have to. When we do execute, we’re not finishing shots, whether it’s at the rim, through contact or open shots.”
“Coach always preaches about defense,” White said. “Defense wins games. A lot of us are struggling on offense. If we keep playing defense as well as we are, we can win a lot of ball games.”
Down 8-7 at the first media timeout, Ole Miss answered with a 12-2 run to take a 19-10 lead at the 9:52 mark in the first half, and the Rebels would lead the rest of the game.
“We needed to create some offense with our defense,” Kennedy said. “It was a 13-10 game and we went on a bit of a spurt based on defensive possessions, getting us out in the open floor where we can finish. It’s one of the strengths of our team. We’re long and pretty versatile, so we can interchange. We have to continue to be active defensively.”
Ole Miss finished the half on an 11-0 run to take a 37-15 lead into halftime. The Rebels forced 17 first-half turnovers, turning them into 19 points off turnovers. Ole Miss also limited Southern to 26 percent shooting in the first half, holding the Jaguars without a field goal for the last 9:17 of the half.
Coming out of halftime, Ole Miss never led by fewer than 20 points, leading by as many as 32 points after a 7-0 spurt late in the second half, on the way to the 69-38 final.
Ole Miss will return to action Sunday, hosting Northern Arizona as part of the Emerald Coast Classic. The Rebels and Lumberjacks will tip off at 7 p.m. at the Tad Smith Coliseum.
–Ole Miss Sports Information
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