Ole Miss finished up the first 13 games of the season with a 92-63 thrashing of overmatched Austin Peay State at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum. It was a much-needed victory since the Rebels had already lost four times this season.
“This is a good win for a lot of reasons,” Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said after his team improved to 9-4 on the year.
One of the reasons it went well was Jarvis Summers. The senior guard from Jackson led the way with 18 points, one of four Rebels with double figure scoring.
“(Summers) played good in the second half against Coastal (Carolina) when we had to storm back (to win),” Kennedy said. “He had back spasms against SEMO and doesn’t play. We went to Dayton and he was really the only guy that gave us consistency offensively. We were sporadic but he was steady. He kept us around and gave us a chance at the end.
“Tonight as we were making that push," Kennedy continued, "he was being the player that we need him to be.”
Summers said he feels good about where his game is right now.
“Early in the year I was kind of banged up,” he said. “I wasn’t mentally ready. Just staying in the gym and trying to perfect my game has helped.”
Summers said the Rebels are beginning to play better, and he felt people could see that in this one.
“Basically just moving the ball around and buying in to what Coach (Kennedy) is telling us," he said. "Make the right read and play the game. We won (today), and I’ve just got to lead.”
The Rebels had the edge in every statistical category and led by as many as 31 points. At halftime, Ole Miss was up 42-29, thanks to a late first half 12-0 run.
Ole Miss shot a season-best 34 of 62 (55 percent) from the field, including 11 of 21 (52 percent) from 3-point range. The offensive balance included Stefan Moody with 14 points, Dwight Coleby with 12, and Terrence Smith with 10.
“And I thought Rod Lawrence gave us some good minutes today," Kennedy said of the junior's 14 minutes of action. "He brought us some energy, which he’s been doing in practice. He has the ability to make a shot. And (senior) Terence Smith is a worker. He’s doing a good job.”
Against the Governors, the Rebels hit a season high 11 shots from 3-point range, including 4 of 7 by Moody.
Khalil Davis scored 20 points to lead Austin Peay (5-9).
Kennedy said now is as good a team as any to face the No. 1 team in the country on its home floor. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. central time Tuesday, and the game will be shown on the SEC Network.
“I’m just excited it’s SEC season,” he said. “Obviously the stakes get raised. I think our guys will be excited about the opportunity.”
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