By Adam Brown
Ole Miss dropped its first game of the young season to the Marquette Golden Eagles 78-72 in the opening round of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic on Thursday.
Ole Miss (2-1) was led in the game scoring by Jarkel Joiner and Nysier Brooks who each had 13 points.
Jameyn Brakefield added 11 points of his own.
The Rebels got off to a fast start to open the game as they took an 8-0 lead over Marquette. Ole Miss got out to its largest lead of the night at 12 points over the Golden Eagles with a score of 17-5 at the 14:03 mark of the first half.
Ole Miss never trailed in the first 20 minutes of action as they took a 36-31 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
“(Marquette) made a tough three at the end of the half that got them going a bit,” Kermit Davis said.
Marquette (4-0) was led on the court by Daryl Morsell with 22 points. His teammates Justin Lewis and Sam Jones each added 21 and 18 points to the stats line respectively.
In the second half, Marquette climbed their way back to take the lead.
“Our 1-3-1 defensive pressure was not much of a factor,” Davis said. “They had 16 assists and 10 turnovers and we had 16 assists and nine turnovers.”
Davis added that the Rebels have been a good 1-3-1 back to a 2-3 zone team but could never really get into a rhythm and in a zone.
Ole Miss struggled at the free-throw line as they shot 6-for-15 at .40 percent.
The Rebels got the ball in the paint and scored 38 points to Marquette’s 16 down inside. Ole Miss outrebounded the Golden Eagles 37-34.
“We outrebounded them and they went 17-for-19 from the free-throw line and that was the difference in the game,” Davis said.
Ole Miss will take on the loser of West Virginia and Elon on Friday night. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
“We have to bounce back in this tournament and play well tomorrow night,” Davis said.