Ole Miss turned it over 18 times against an experienced lineup of mostly upperclassmen. What was really disturbing was how Middle took it from the point guards at the key, mostly LaDarius White and Derrick Millinghaus while Jarvis Summers was on the bench with two fouls.
Some Nick Williams video here:
Williams was the only player to speak after the game.
As bad as the Rebels shot — just 5-for-21 from 3 with Marshall Henderson going 3-for-12 — they had a chance to win late after Henderson’s 3 with 2:08 left tied it at 59.
The game turned on the next two possessions. With the game still tied, Summers got into the lane, in the air, there was contact and no call.
On the other end, Middle’s Kerry Hammonds drove in, knocked down Henderson, then stepped back and hit a shot to put the Blue Raiders ahead with 40 seconds left.
After that, Middle denied the Ole Miss guards, and Murphy Holloway — yes, Holloway — attempted a 3-pointer.
As far as the no-calls at the end, there were a lot of calls that went the Rebels’ way in this game. They didn’t take advantage of that.
I’ll have video up after I work for print for a while.
A free throw by Buckner, then a prayer off-balance by Millinghaus on a drive outside the lane, and the Rebels are fortunate to be down just four at the break.
Henderson is off to yet another terrible shooting performance. He’s 1-for-6 from the floor, 0-for-4 from 3.
Jarvis Summers played seven minutes in the first half after getting his second foul, and the Rebels’ ball-handling struggled. Millinghaus and others were picked at the key several times, leading to easy points for Middle on the other end.
Ole Miss has turned it over 10 times.
The Rebels have made the shots tough for Cintron, the 3-point shooter, but he’s still 2-for-3 from the arc, and that’s with playing only 12 minutes.
Holloway has come to play, 9 points, 5 rebounds, but he went to the locker room late in the half after getting poked in the eye.
About 15 minutes to tip here. I’ve covered many games in a multi-use gym but never when there have been two events going on at the same time.
Today there’s a track meet running at the same time.
That being said I suspect the basketball game will draw more fans. They’re filing in now, and the students are cranking up.
I’ll have updates on Twitter and will be back here at halftime and after the game.
Rebels wearing red today.
Settling into Murfreesboro.
Middle will be a big test for Ole Miss. The numbers suggest that, but more, how well these same players played in a 68-56 neutral site win against Ole Miss last year.
A few pre-game notes here:
- Ole Miss has done a great job this season of protecting the ball, as the Rebels rank second in the SEC in fewest turnovers per game at 11.3. Sophomore point guard Jarvis Summers has done a particularly great job of limiting turnovers, as he leads the SEC and ranks second in the nation in assist/turnover ratio at 7.7. Summers has only committed three turnovers on the season and has 11 assists in his last two games with no turnovers.
- The Rebels are second in the SEC with the fewest turnovers at 11.3 per game. Much of that is attributable to the protection skills of sophomore point guard Jarvis Summers, who leads the league and ranks second in the nation in assist-turnover ratio at 7.7. Summers has 11 assists and no turnovers in the last three games. He has just three turnovers on the season.
- The Rebels lead the SEC and rank second nationally in field goal defense with opponents held to 34 percent on average. Ole Miss also ranks second in the SEC in steals (11.2) and blocks (6.0).
- Ole Miss assistant Al Pinkins coached at Middle before joining Andy Kennedy’s staff prior to last season.
From the Middle Tennessee perspective:
- Middle is 6-2 with a neutral-site loss to Florida (66-45) in Tampa and a loss at Akron (82-77).
- Sharp-shooting guard Raymond Cintron, who had 18 on 4-for-7 3-point shooting against Ole Miss last year, scored a career-high 22 points against Akron on Dec. 2.
- On its list of the top 50 shooters in the nation, CBSSports.com ranks Cintron No. 39.
- Middle ranks 28th nationally with a plus-8.1 rebound margin.