Runaway Win

Senior guard Chris Warren moved into seventh place all-time for career points, as Ole Miss ran away from Alcorn State, 100-62, Thursday night.

Chris Warren entered Thursday night's meeting with Alcorn State with 1,584 career points. He needed 18 more to overtake Joe Gibbon for seventh place all-time.

He had 15 at the end of the first half. Ole Miss, meanwhile, was coasting. The Rebels, leading 25-21, reeled off a 24-9 run to pull away from a middling Alcorn State team, 49-30, at halftime.

The outcome was never in doubt, only the margin of victory. So the story turned to Warren, who didn't disappoint, connecting on two free throws in the opening minutes of the second half to pass Gibbon. Warren also moved into fifth place all-time for career assists in the game.

"I don't really worry about Chris too much," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said of Warren following Ole Miss' blowout, 100-62 win. "We've come to put a pretty high standard on him."

Chris Warren

Warren, who has now scored 20-plus points in six of 12 games, led Ole Miss in scoring for the seventh time this season. He finished with 24 points on 8 of 11 shooting, to go along with six assists.

Warren is currently four 3-point attempts behind Aaron Harper for first in program history. He currently has 716.

"He didn't have his best performance shooting the ball in Cancun," Kennedy said. "True to form, the first time we reconvene on the 28th, I'm the first one in the gym, he's the second one in the gym.

"I thought he was good tonight. I was glad that Chris provided leadership, scored for us early, got us into a little bit of a rhythm early. And we did what we were supposed to."

Thursday marked the sixth time Ole Miss has eclipsed 80 points this season. Ole Miss was third among Southeastern Conference teams prior to tipoff in scoring average.

Ole Miss (10-3) shot 56 percent from the floor for the game, compared to 36 percent for Alcorn State (0-10). The Rebels also held the edge in rebounding, 47-27, even without sophomore forward Reginald Buckner, who didn't play due to soreness in his knee.

"He hasn't practiced since we've been back," Kennedy said. "He's got some knee pain. We've had it checked out and everything's fine."

Over a 2-1 trip to Cancun, Mexico, including wins over Texas State and Saint Louis, Ole Miss bested foes on the boards by an average of 18.7 per game.

"We're starting to rebound the ball," Kennedy said. "That was our biggest deficiency. We're starting to understand the importance of team rebounding."

Ole Miss had four players in double-figure points, including Zach Graham, who had 18 points and eight rebounds in the win. Dundrecous Nelson chipped in with a career-high 17 points.

Dundrecous Nelson

Demarco Cox, drawing the start for the injured Buckner, had his first career double-double, totaling 11 points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes.

"I thought he was active," Kennedy said of Cox. "Early on, he couldn't have played 30 minutes. He's getting better and better and better. He's getting more confident. He's really a hard worker. He puts in extra sessions every day. That's going to pay off for him."

It was the third start of the season for Cox. Cox drew starts in wins over Penn State and Saint Louis.

"The reason I really got into a better rhythm is because I've been working on it every day at practice," Cox said.

"I've been put in extra work. Once I scored my first one, I had a little feeling then that I was going to have a good game."

Alcorn State was led by Marquiz Baker, who had 18 points.

Ole Miss returns to action Sunday, when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana at 6 p.m. The game will be carried by CSS.

Gaskins on the mend:

Kennedy said junior guard Trevor Gaskins, injured during the team's three-game set in Cancun, could have played Thursday. However, the staff held Gaskins out for precautionary reasons, considering the often lingering effects of hamstring injuries.

"He could have played tonight if we were in the SEC Tournament," Kennedy said. "He wants to play. We're really just trying to slow down, because it's a hamstring (injury). When it's a hamstring, you don't want it to continue to be reoccurring. We'll see how he progresses."

Random notes: Ole Miss has posted at least one 40-point half in all but one game this season, including 49 Thursday… The Rebels lead all SEC teams in free throw percentage. Ole Miss shot x percent from the free throw line against Alcorn State… Ole Miss is now 4-0 in games with Alcorn State… Ole Miss is 32-0 against teams that currently comprise the Southwestern Athletic Conference.


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