Led by the senior tandem of Holloway and Buckner, the Rebels (6-0) shot 53.3 percent in the second half to pull away with the win.
"I was proud of our team's resilience," Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said. "That was a game with a lot of knockdowns and physical play. The game never really established a rhythm offensively until the second half."
It was Holloway's third double-double of the year and the 28th of his career, which leads all active SEC players.
"When you get 31 (points) and 26 (rebounds) out of your two front court guys then you would hope you get a chance to win," Kennedy said. "Murphy went for 17 (points) and 15 (rebounds), he was all over the floor. Reggie went for 14 (points) and 11 (rebounds) and had three blocks, that's what you need out of your upperclassmen."
The Rebels trailed by four at the half, shooting just 35.3 percent from the field and were 6-21 (28.6 percent) from the free throw line. Holloway led the team at the half with eight points and seven rebounds.
Ole Miss took over the lead with 14 minutes left in the game on a Holloway dunk and Rutgers was never able to regain the lead.
Every Rebel that scored, with the exception of Nick Williams, scored in double figures. Marshall Henderson added 18 points in the win. LaDarius White and Jarvis Summers added 12 and 13, respectively.
Mack Myles led Rutgers (4-2) with 15 points. The Scarlet Knights (4-2) shot 22-54 (40.7 percent) from the field.
"We defended pretty well," Kennedy said. "They're obviously a different level than who we've played. I was really pleased with the fact that we never let their leading scorer get in rhythm. It was very physical at both ends, which as a result there were a lot of fouls called."
The Rebels will travel to Middle Tennessee next Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Kentucky's Home Win Streak Ends Against Baylor
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Baylor entered Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon and did what no team has been able to do in a long, long time – beat Kentucky on its home court.
The Bears ended the Wildcats’ 54-game home win streak with a 64-55 triumph on Saturday, thanks in large part to big contributions from Pierre Jackson, Isaiah Austin and A.J. Walton. Jackson led Baylor (5-2) with 17 points, while Austin and Walton dropped 11 point apiece to give the Bears their first win over UK in their last eight attempts.
Kentucky (4-3) had its worst shooting night under Coach John Calipari, connecting on just 30 percent of its shots in the loss. The awful shooting night was a full 10 percent worse than the 40 percent mark UK put up in a loss to Notre Dame on Thursday.
Archie Godwin led Kentucky with 17 points, while Alex Poythress added 13. UK actually out-rebounded the Bears 48-37 on the game, including a significant 21-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
Baylor used a mixed variety of zone defenses to force 16 turnovers from Kentucky in the win. Baylor led by as many as 10 in the second half, but Kentucky rallied to get within three points at one juncture. The Bears, with last year’s Elite Eight loss to UK fresh in their minds, held off long enough to secure the road victory.
Mississippi State Rally Falls Short Against Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A valiant comeback fell short Saturday afternoon as the Mississippi State men's basketball team dropped a 73-63 decision to Providence at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
The Bulldogs (2-5) trailed 59-33 with 10:54 left in the contest. MSU battled back strong, closing within five points at 68-63 with 46 seconds left in regulation time. Roquez Johnson missed two free throws for MSU as the Maroon and White almost made it a one-possession game.
Providence (6-2) hit five free throws in the final 34 seconds to seal the victory.
"The kids fought hard and competed there at the end," MSU head coach Rick Ray said. "However, I told them in the locker room, if they thought I was going to be happy, they would be sorely disappointed. I don't want great effort 10 minutes. I want us to start a game that way, too."
Remaining winless away from the Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs are finding enormous problems starting games. Providence leaped to an 11-1 lead Saturday, as MSU went better than the first five minutes without a made field goal.
"We are starting games too casually," Ray said. "We make turnovers when the other team is not aggressively attacking the passing lane. Providence plays a zone and we take too many 3-point shots. We are not a good 3-point shooting team. So you need to attack more and move the ball inside more.
"That is what happens with a young team. You fall into the trap of doing what they want you to do."
The Bulldogs were content to live on the outside in the game's opening half. In a dreadful shooting half, MSU managed only five field goals in the first 20 minutes, including a 0-of-13 half from 3-point range.
Kadeem Batts and LaDontae Henton got the offense going for the Friars. After the fast start, Providence held a good lead for the rest of the half. After the Bulldogs closed within seven, Providence followed with a 10-1 run for a 26-10 lead with 8:38 left in the half.
Providence forced nine first-half turnovers and led 39-21 at the intermission.
In the second half, the Bulldogs got the ball inside more and Wendell Lewis responded. Posting the team's first double-double of the season, Lewis had 16 points and 11 rebounds, including seven on the defensive end.
"We were more aggressive and we attacked the zone," Ray said. "We attempted 22 3-point shots as a team. That is just way too many. We have to get more players involved and do more positive things on offense."
The Bulldogs fell down 20 with 18:03 left and stayed in that range until the big comeback began seven minutes later.
Providence went better than five minutes without a point as MSU pieced together a 13-0 run. A basket by Trivante Bloodman brought the Maroon and White within 66-60 with 58 seconds left. A 3-pointer by Fred Thomas brought MSU within five but the guests could get no closer.
For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 23 of 64 shots from the field (35.9 percent), 2 of 22 shots from 3-point range (9.1 percent) and 15 of 22 shots from the foul line (68.2 percent). The Friars hit 25 of 54 shots from the field (46.3 percent), 2 of 12 shots from 3-point range (16.7 percent) and 21 of 28 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent).
MSU held a 38-36 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 10 assists and 15 turnovers, including an 8-to-6 assist-to-turnover ratio in the game's final half. The Friars had 18 assists and 12 turnovers.
Lewis was joined in double figures by Thomas with 12 points and Johnson with 10 points.
Batts had 32 points for Providence, while Henton added 18 points.
MSU hosts Texas-San Antonio at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Cincinnati Edges Alabama
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Cincinnati's Cashmere Wright drained a game-winning jumper at the buzzer to lift the 17th-ranked Bearcats to a 58-56 win over Alabama Saturday.
Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey led the Crimson Tide with 16 points and added seven rebounds and three assists in the losing effort. Junior Trevor Releford added 12 points and three steals, as the Crimson Tide dropped to 6-1 on the season.
"Cincinnati played extremely hard and has a very good basketball team" UA head coach Anthony Grant said. "We didn't do some things well, especially down the stretch. This is a great learning opportunity for us and hopefully will make us better. Overall, I'm proud of the effort that our guys gave today, but we just came up short." The Tide faced a deficit of 13 points in the first half, before making a late rally.
Alabama looked to be in trouble just before halftime, trailing 33-24 in the waning seconds. But Releford drilled a three-pointer just before intermission to make it a six-point (33-27) halftime score.
That trey triggered 14-4 run, which gave Alabama its first lead of the game, 38-37, with 14:16 remaining. From there, it was a back-and-forth affair that featured five ties and eight lead changes - the final one of which came as the buzzer sounded.
For the game, Alabama shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the floor, including 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from three-point range. The Tide also outrebounded Cincinnati, 37-32.
Cincinnati (7-0) came into the game averaging 87.0 points a contest, but the Tide defense frustrated the Bearcats all night. UC finished shooting just 39.0 percent for the game and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Other notable performances came from sophomore guard Rodney Cooper, who finished with eight points, as well as freshman forward Devonta Pollard, who finished with seven points.
Alabama next plays this Wednesday, December 5, against Dayton in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.
Mizzou Races Past Appalachian State
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Laurence Bowers tied a career high with 23 points, 21 of which came in the opening half, to lead a 72-56 victory over Appalachian State on Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.
Missouri (6-1) led by as many as 24 in the opening half and cruised throughout thanks to the hot shooting of Bowers. The senior from Memphis, Tenn., hit 8-of-10 shots in the opening period and made his lone shot in the second half to lead four Tigers in double figures.
Bowers scored 12 of Missouri's first 14 points and actually equaled Appalachian State's first half scoring total as the Tigers led 39-21 at the break. He then deferred to his teammates in the second half, led by Keion Bell who scored 10 of his 12 in the second period. Bell has come off the bench in each of his last two games and is averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in a reserve role.
Earnest Ross finished with 13 points and narrowly missed his third double-double with nine rebounds. Tony Criswell also reached double figures with 10 points, the highest scoring total of his career as a Tiger.
Jay Canty led Appalachian State (1-6) with 29 points.
Missouri returns to action on Dec. 4 vs. Southeast Missouri State. Game time at Mizzou Arena is 7 p.m.
Vandy Falls to Villanova
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Villanova hit the road on Saturday and came away with a 62-52 win at Vanderbilt thanks to 16 points from Mouphtaou Yarou. Yarou, who connected on 10 of his 12 free throw attempts, ended a three-game losing streak for the Wildcats.
Vandy (2-4), which is off to its worst start since 1988, actually led for much of the first half. The second half was a different story, however, and Rod Odom rounded out the game as the Commodores’ leading scorer with 14. Kedren Johnson dropped 12 points, as did Kevin Bright, who also chipped in 12 boards in the losing effort.
Saturday night’s meeting marked only the second time the two squads had ever collided, with the first coming down to an 80-73 victory in favor of the Commodores. Vandy has now lost four of its last five contests.
Texas A&M Picks Up Win In Houston
HOUSTON— Elston Turner matched a career high with 26 points to lead Texas A&M to its third straight win, 70-59 over Houston Saturday night inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Aggies (6-1) led 42-24 at halftime before Houston climbed back in the contest by slicing Texas A&M's lead to 62-54 with 2:09 remaining. But Turner, a senior guard and team leader, tallied 10 points, including two 3-pointers, in the final 4:52 to hold the Cougars at bay.
J.J. Thompson led the Cougars (5-2) with 16 points, and Jherrod Stiggers followed with 12.
Texas A&M post players Kourtney Roberson and Ray Turner chipped in 14 points each, and Alex Caruso notched a game-high seven assists.
The Aggies doubled up the Cougars on offensive rebounds, 14-7, and won the overall rebounding margin 40-26. The former Southwest Conference members collided at Hofheinz for the first time since 2003.