Defense has vanished for this team. Everybody knows Elston Turner is a scorer, but you’ve got to find a way to slow him down. Let him get his 20. If he gets 20 Ole Miss wins, but he gets 37 and goes 7-for-9 from 3.
He hadn’t come close to that since getting 40 at Kentucky.
Reggie Buckner responded offensively. He still didn’t get off a lot of field goal attempts but hit free throws — early not late and that was costly — and finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Murphy Holloway missed some time in the second half after being poked in the eye. He got to double figures with 10 points, but the rebounds still aren’t there for Holloway, just five rebounds.
The big thing, though, was that A&M won the battle of the shooters. Ole Miss couldn’t slow down Turner, but the Aggies did slow down Marshall Henderson. The native Texan was 2-for-8 from 3 for the second straight game and was held to 10 points, his lowest output in an SEC game.
The bottom line is this. If it’s truly going to take a 13-5 SEC record to reach the NCAA tournament, the Rebels are now 0-2 in the second half of the season after their 7-2 mark over the first half. They’ve got to go 6-1 to get to 13-5, and that’s not going to be easy regardless of the strength of the conference.