Moody's 30 lead Ole Miss to 76-60 victory
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) Stefan Moody began to laugh when asked if 29 was much different than 30. The senior point guard's wide smile was all the answer necessary.
Moody scored a career-high 30 points to help Mississippi bounce back from its first loss of the season in a 76-60 victory over Towson at the Charleston Classic on Friday.
''It's good knowing now, I guess,'' he said. ''When I was playing, I wasn't really paying attention. Just playing and see how the numbers fall.''
Everything fell for the Rebels (3-1) in the opening half. They shot 74.1 percent (20 of 27) to lead 48-26 at halftime, then withstood Towson's modest rally to pull away.
For Moody, the effort showed Ole Miss would not be defined by its defeat, a 68-62 loss to George Mason to start this eight-team tournament.
''You can never really just sit on a loss you had. You've got to go back to the film room, see some of the things you did wrong, look past it and take on the next team,'' he said.
Towson (1-3) used a 16-2 run at the start of the second half to slice the Rebels' lead to 50-42 with 14 minutes to play. But behind Moody and Marcanvis Hymon's career-high 20 points, Mississippi opened things up again and stayed comfortably out front the rest of the way.
Byron Hawkins had a career-best 28 points to lead the Tigers.
Moody made 10 of his 18 shots overall, including five 3-pointers. He surpassed his previous best of 29 points, which he accomplished twice before including in the Rebels' season-opening victory over Northwestern State on Nov. 13.
Hymon had nine rebounds to go along with his scoring. He crumpled to the floor late in the game after taking an apparent forearm shot from Towson's Arnaud William Adala Moto. Hymon got up on his own and did not return with the Rebels up big.
Mississippi will play for fifth place on Sunday while - the tournament takes Saturday off in deference to college football - while Towson will try and avoid going 0-for-Charleston in the seventh-place game.
Mississippi was hoping to quickly rebound from its first loss of the season, a 68-62 defeat to George Mason here. And the Rebels did that against Towson with a 16-2 run to take control in the opening minutes.
Moody had three baskets and Hymon had two during the surge, which saw Ole Miss go in front 18-6.
The Rebels took off again later in the opening period with a 23-8 spurt where they made nine of 12 shots.
''I don't think we were ready early and the rim looked a little bit bigger to them and they've got good players'' at Mississippi, Towson coach Pat Skerry said.
Mississippi: Coach Andy Kennedy is among 11 current head coaches with 10 or more seasons without a losing record. The closest he's come to that was in 2008-09 when the Rebels finished 16-15.
Towson: The Tigers have allowed opponents to shoot better than 41 percent this season coming into the Ole Miss game. The Rebels took that to another level, making 20 of their 27 shots in the first half against Towson.
PERCAPTION NOT REALITY
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said any half put up against the way his team shot early against Towson is going to look poor in comparison. Still, Kennedy said his team finished 56.6 percent for the game after making nine of 25 field goals in the second period.
Towson coach Pat Skerry said he may make some changes to the starting lineup before the Tigers finish up tournament play Sunday. He's gone with three forwards in Arnaud William Adala Moto, Timajh Parker-Rivera and Walter Foster. But the three combined for just 14 points on 6-of-20 shooting. The trio had 11 rebounds as the Tigers were outrebounded by Ole Miss, 34-24.
Mississippi faces Seton Hall in Sunday's fifth-place game.
Towson faces Bradley in Sunday's seventh-place game.