We are back on the road now, and I’m working in the car as Bruce Ballard handles the driving.
Here’s what Andy Kennedy had to say in the postgame:
Someone asked on Twitter if this was a moral victory, because Ole Miss scored more points than any SEC team has scored against Florida this season.
This Ole Miss team is past the point of moral victories. The 6-0 SEC start put the Rebels in great position to reach the NCAA tournament , but it guaranteed them nothing. There is still much work to be done.
The Rebels at full strength would have had a hard time beating Florida. Under the circumstances, this loss was predictable.
Marshall Henderson did a great job of hitting shots. It was his best 3-point percentage game of the year, and he tied a season-high with seven made 3-point field goals.
He finished with a game-high 25 points, the fifth time in eight SEC games that he’s scored at least 20 points.
Murphy Holloway was more efficient in the second half but was just 5-for-16 shooting for the game. He had 15 points and seven rebounds, the most points he’s scored in the last four games.
The big problem tonight was that in the absence of Nick Williams and Aaron Jones — 13 points missing from the Ole Miss stat sheet — no one really upped their production. Henderson did what he does. Holloway did what he does. Neither Jarvis Summers nor Reggie Buckner increased their production, and LaDarius White took a step back from what he’s done over the last two games.
Kennedy went deep into the game before subbing for the first time, and when he did, he was careful how he used his reserves. Terry Brutus turned in some good minutes, three rebounds, a bucket and a steal in 12 minutes, but there’s nobody there who’s ready to fill that scoring void.
Kennedy will know more about Williams’ status Monday for Wednesday’s Mississippi State game.
Neither the Kentucky loss nor this loss were “bad losses” for the NCAA resume. But Ole Miss needs to regain its composure quickly. The Rebels need to get to 12 or 13 SEC wins to make a strong argument for an at-large bid. They’re half-way there, but they need to get to work on the other half.
After a 4-for-6 field goal shooting start, Ole Miss missed five of its next six and finished the half shooting 10-for-24 (41.7 percent). That’s not bad, but it’s not going to win this game.
Marshall Henderson (4-for-5 from 3) is keeping Ole Miss with a pulse with 12 points, but the Rebels can’t stop Florida.
Six-foot-10 forward Erik Murphy is scoring inside and out – mostly out. He’s 5-for-6 from the floor, 3-for-4 from 3 for 13 points.
Florida is shooting 57.1 percent, down from almost 62 percent a few minutes ago.
Credit Reggie Buckner and Murphy Holloway for staying out of foul trouble. Just one foul between them and that belongs to Buckner.
Terry Brutus has turned in a productive five minutes with a rebound, a steal, a bucket on a reverse layup and no turnovers.
Andy Kennedy went pretty deep into the game before subbing, and Brutus was the first man in.
After Jarvis Summers missed a free throw that would have tied the game at 11, Florida upped the lead to 35-15. The Rebels had a chance to score and go in under 10 but couldn’t get there. Florida hit a late shot right before the buzzer.
Video here of Florida students — the Rowdy Reptiles — get a pep talk a few minutes ago from a Florida administrator who urges them to behave responsibly. He doesn’t call Marshall Henderson by name but asks students to make good choices if someone engages them.
“We want you to be your creative selves … but remember to keep your cool if a situation is to arise during the game.”
More video here. Henderson and the Rebels warm-up in the background as Florida takes the floor. That’s Nick Williams on crutches.
No. 16 Ole Miss at No. 4 Florida
Without Aaron Jones and Nick Williams, Ole Miss is looking to replace about 14 points a game. They won’t all come from LaDarius White, the sophomore guard says, even though he’s been on a tear the last two games. Game Advance
Tip: 6 p.m., O’Connell Center, (11,548)
Radio: Ole Miss network. Satellite: Sirius 93, XM 199
Series: Florida leads 60-42
Rankings: Ole Miss No. 16 AP, No. 16 USA Today; Florida No. 4 AP, No. 4 USA Today
Last Year: Florida won 64-60 in Oxford in January 2012.
Coaches – Florida, Billy Donovan 438-180, 20th season; 403-160 18th season at Florida. Ole Miss, Andy Kennedy, 163-94, eight seasons, 142-81, seventh season at Ole Miss.
Notes: Ole Miss has not won against Florida since 2008. … Freshmen Terry Brutus and Anthony Perez are expected to gain more playing time after injuries to reserves Nick Williams and Aaron Jones. Brutus has appeared in only 11 games. Perez has appeared in 17 but is averaging only 6.8 minutes. … Kennedy is two wins away from tying B.L. Graham as the winningest coach in school history with 144 victories. … After Texas A&M guard Elston Turner, son of the former Ole Miss great, scored 40 at Kentucky, Florida held him to 1-for-10 shooting in his next game. … Donovan is 13-6 against Ole Miss. … Ole Miss held a 16-point lead in last year’s game before losing by four. … Four of the last five in the series have been decided by six points or less.
Florida 17-2, 6-0 SEC
Probable starters Pts. Reb.
F Erik Murphy 6-10 Sr. 12.6 4.6
C Patric Young 6-9 Jr. 11.0 6.5
G Kenny Boynton 6-2 Sr. 13.6 3.5
G Mike Rosario 6-3 Sr. 11.9 2.4
G Scottie Wilbekin 6-2 Jr. 9.1 4.9*
F Will Yeguete 6-7 Jr. 6.3 6.7
G Michael Frazier 6-4 Fr. 5.5 3.3
Ole Miss 17-3, 6-1 SEC
F Reggie Buckner 6-9 Sr. 9.7 8.0
F Murphy Holloway 6-7 Sr. 14.6 10.3
G LaDarius White 6-6 So. 5.5 2.3
G Jarvis Summers 6-3 So. 8.9 3.9*
G Marshall Henderson 6-2 Jr. 19.3 3.4
G Derrick Millinghaus 5-9 Fr. 5.5 1.2
F Terry Brutus 6-6 Fr. 0.9 1.0
- - assists per game