OXFORD, Miss. – Five Rebels scored in double figures Friday night as Ole Miss rolled to a 94-76 win over Louisiana-Lafayette in the season-opener for both teams.
Junior Terence Davis led the way with 21 points. Senior Deandre Burnett scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half. Freshman Devontae Shuler finished with 14 points, while sophomore Breein Tyree added 10.
Senior forward Marcanvis Hymon helped the Rebels overcome a slow start and notched a double-double in the process, finishing with 13 rebounds and 12 points in 32 minutes of play–the most minutes of anyone on head coach Andy Kennedy’s team.
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After being behind 42-40 at the break, the Rebels outscored ULL (0-1) 16-6 during a four-minute stretch to take a 66-57 lead and would later increase their lead to 12 off Hymon’s layup.
“Kudos to that kid,” Kennedy said of Hymon in the post game press conference.
“He’s had a great summer. I was so proud of the way he led. I challenged him to lead that group of bigs because of his experience and he was really, really good tonight.”
Head coach Andy Kennedy on the Rebels’ Marcanvis Hymon
The Ragin’ Cajuns would cut their deficit to six, 66-72, with back-to-back 3s from Cedric Russell with 7:44 left in the game. After the second made 3-point attempt, however, Russell was called for a technical foul, and the Rebels reaped the benefits with two fouls shots made by Davis.
That was closest ULL would get, despite the physicality it had showed from the opening tip.
“That team is going to win games. They’re good,” Kennedy said of the Ragin’ Cajuns. “They got good inside scoring. They got good guard play. They got veterans and those are typically the teams that make that run. I foresee them doing well.”
Rebels battle to overcome strong start by ULL
There was a point in the first half when the Rebels were trailing by as many as 10 points and couldn’t seem to get a shot to fall from beyond the arc. Justin Miller and Bryce Washington’s back-to-back layups gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a comfortable 35-25 lead with 5:19 left in the first half.
Ole Miss started to see the light at the end of the tunnel with five quick points from Bruce Stevens and a 3-pointer from Devontae Shuler that brought the Rebels to within five (35-30) with 4:03 left in the first half.
Ole Miss finished the half outscoring ULL 10-7 to cut its deficit to 42-40 at intermission.
Shuler was 4-of-6 from the three-point line and gave the Rebels a boost off the bench in the second half.
Kennedy praised the true freshman for his contributions to the win.
“I thought he was a huge spark for us when the game was still in play at about six or eight points. He knocks down a couple of big shots, and we go ahead to stay.“
Kennedy on Devontae Shuler
Though they missed their first seven 3-point attempts of the game, the Rebels finished the first half hitting four out of five, two of which came from Davis. For the game, Ole Miss made 7 of 21 shots from beyond the arc.
- The Rebels have won the last three meeting against ULL with victories in 2006, 2011, and 2017.
- Ole Miss had 17 assists on 33 made field goals.
- Attendance was 8,302 Friday night, the largest for an Ole Miss home opener for at least the last three years.
- Trailing 51-46 with 16:13 to go, the Rebels went on a 24-6 run over the next 5:51 to take control of the game.
- Terence Davis scored a team-high 21 points, his seventh 20-point game of his career.
- The Ragin’ Cajuns went 14 for 28 in the first half but made only 10 of 28 field goals in the second half.
- Justin Miller and Marcus Stroman each finished with 12 points.
- Miller scored all 12 of his points in the first half. Stroman scored nine of his 12 in the first half. Both went a combined 1 for 9 in the second half.
Assistant Coach Rahim Lockhart out
Assistant coach Rahim Lockhart is on a medical leave of absence and will be out indefinitely. After the game, Kennedy mentioned there’s no exact timetable for Lockhart’s return.
Ole Miss will stay home on Monday to host Eastern Kentucky (5:30 p.m. CT, SEC+).
Louisiana-Lafayette will host Louisiana College on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)