Ole Miss Improves to 4-2 Following 73-58 Win over Mississippi Valley State
OXFORD, Miss. — A win is a win by the NET ratings and that’s all Ole Miss had to do today. Was it pretty? Not exactly. However, the Rebels found their footing and, thanks to a 40-point second-half, emerged victorious over Mississippi Valley State University.
When MVSU was leading the Rebels, it wasn’t necessarily because MVSU was outplaying Ole Miss — but more that MVSU was out-hustling and out-working the Rebs. Ole Miss came out and had six turnovers in the first half with only three assists. The Rebels’ ability to move the ball around had been one of the strong suits for the team this year.
Ole Miss appeared to be turning the corner when it gained a 29-21 lead. However, MVSU stormed back, going on a 17-2 run before a Jarkel Joiner two ended the half with MVSU holding a 38-33 lead.
Only four players scored for the Delta Devils in the first half (one only had 2 points). The trio of Robert Carpenter, Devin Gordon, and Caleb Hunter gave Ole Miss fits.
MVSU only shot 41% in the first half and at times made some tough shots. It really seemed like Ole Miss would play defense for the first 25 seconds of the clock and then give up a bucket in the final few seconds of the shot clock.
The second half brought what many of us thought would happen from the beginning of the game. Ole Miss opened the half on a 13-2 run to take a 42-38 lead. This gave the Rebels the lead for the rest of the game. The energy picked up, the momentum picked up and the defense picked up as Ole Miss really suffocated the MVSU offense. With the score at 52-55 Ole Miss, the Rebels would go on a 20-3 run to put this one away.
Ole Miss again had a balanced scoring attack, but it was the play of the forwards upfront who really left their mark.
Nysier Brooks notched a double-double with 15 points (tied for team-high) and 10 rebounds. Robert Allen added a big spark in the starting lineup with non-stop energy and hustle as he scored 11 points and added six rebounds.
Jarkel Joiner came in off the bench tonight and also added 15 for Ole Miss. The Rebels started Crowley, Fagan, Rodriquez, Allen, and Brooks.
After shooting 41% from the field in the first, MVSU shot 31% in the second, and their 53% 3-point mark was followed up with a 25% mark in the second half. The Delta Devils were led by Carpenter who ended the game with 27 and was the game’s leading scorer.
TJ Oxley is a current MBA student at Ole Miss after having earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Toledo. He currently covers college hoops and the NBA Draft for the Basketball Society as well as all things Ole Miss for The Rebel Walk.