Southern Miss. 86, Mississippi 82

Angelo Johnson scored 23 points, Neil Watson added 18 and

Southern Mississippi beat Mississippi 86-82 on Saturday.

Southern Miss (8-2) led for much of the second half but Ole

Miss’ Terrance Henry tied the game at 76 on a pair of free throws

with 1:53 remaining. Watson responded with a 3-pointer to give the

Golden Eagles a 79-76 lead and Torye Pelham added an emphatic

one-handed jam on the next possession to seal the victory.

Southern Miss shot 49.2 percent from the field (30 of 61),

including 53.3 percent (8 of 15) from 3-point range.

Ole Miss (9-2) was led by Henry’s 26 points. He shot 10 of 14

from the field. Dundrecous Nelson scored 19 points and Jarvis

Summers added 12.

It was the teams’ first meeting in Hattiesburg since 1994. The

loss snapped Ole Miss’ six-game winning streak.

Ole Miss took a 34-33 lead into halftime on Murphy Holloway’s

15-footer at the buzzer.

Neither team could get much of an advantage until midway through

the second half, when Southern Miss used an 8-0 run to push ahead

60-55 with 9:29 remaining. The Rebels fought back but couldn’t get

the win in front of a raucous Southern Miss crowd that got an

unexpected treat: The football team’s quarterback Austin Davis

proposed to his girlfriend at halftime.

Southern Miss lost much of its roster from last season’s team

that finished with a 22-10 record, but coach Larry Eustachy has

restocked quickly. Holdovers Johnson, LaShay Page and Maurice

Bolden provide a solid nucleus, while newcomers like Watson and

Jonathan Mills have filled out the roster with quality players.

Johnson made 8 of 13 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 from

3-point range. The senior played despite a staph infection on the

side of his face and neck that was covered by a large bandage.

Watson scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half and also added

11 assists.

Ole Miss lost despite one of its better shooting games this

season. The Rebels made 45.2 percent (28 of 62) of their shots from

the field and outrebounded the Golden Eagles 39-33.

Reggie Buckner scored 10 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked

four shots, giving the 6-foot-8 junior the school’s career blocks

record with 183.

Ole Miss’ Jelan Kendrick – a former McDonald’s All-American –

saw his first career action but didn’t score in eight minutes off

the bench.

The 6-7 redshirt freshman’s role is expected to expand as

Southeastern Conference play approaches. He’s undeniably talented,

with long arms, a deft shooting touch and the ability to play both

guard positions, but has struggled to find a college home.

He started at Memphis but left the program before playing a game

after repeated disagreements with coach Josh Pastner. Then he

transferred to Ole Miss, where he had to sit out a season because

of NCAA rules. He was expected to play for the first time against

Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday, but didn’t dress out because of

what Kennedy called a ”coach’s decision.”