Rebels rip Nicholls State 87-55

Rebels host Troy Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Tad Smith Coliseum

Ole Miss welcomed Nicholls State to Tad Smith Coliseum Monday night and sent the Colonels home with an 87-55 loss.

Shooting lights out, especially in the first half, the Rebels led almost from the opening tip. After Nicholls went up 1-0 on one of two free throws by Shawn King, Ole Miss went on a 13-0 run and basically never looked back.

Ole Miss shot 72 percent (18-25) from the floor in the opening half and 63 percent (34-54) for the game.

It's been a trend lately for the Rebels offensively. A team that before the season needed a lot of players to be a part of the scoring mix has found that to be the case. All 14 players got in the scoring column tonight, led by sophomore guard Todd Abernethy's 13.

For the second straight game, Coach Rod Barnes started senior Cavadas Nunnery at point guard and brought Abernethy in off the bench. Abernethy played quite a bit at the two guard against the Colonels and said postgame he feels more comfortable offensively lately.

"The biggest thing for me is confidence," said Abernethy, who was 5-8 from the floor including 3-6 from 3-point land. "It's really the same thing for the team. The last couple of games we've been shooting well as a team and gained a lot of confidence."

The Rebels, now 4-4 on the year, led 45-24 at halftime and led by as much as 34 points on several occasions in the second half.

"I was pleased with our guys' efforts tonight," Barnes said. "We were able to play a lot of different guys and a lot of different combinations. We were coming off a big win at Memphis, but we were still focused. We were able to get a big lead and see a lot of people out there tonight."

The Rebels play Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Troy in Oxford and again Saturday at home against Louisiana-Monroe at 2 p.m. Barnes said while it will be a long week of games, his team will still work each day to improve.

"Tomorrow we'll practice because we've got to get better as a team," Barnes said. "We've got to continue to get some guys better. We've got to develop some depth in the post. We've got to continue to make sure our point guard play gets better. As we continue to play this season, we'll have to continue to have more guys step up for us.

In addition to Abernethy, Kendrick Fox had 12, Bam Doyne 11, and Londrick Nolen 10.

Willie Depron led the Colonels with 15.

Nicholls State fell to 1-5 on the season. The Colonels lost their head coach in October when former LSU player and three-year NSU head coach Ricky Blanton resigned for personal reasons. Since then one of Blanton's assistants, J.P. Piper, has been in charge of the team.

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