Mississippi beats SE Missouri 82-51
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) Terence Smith made the move to Mississippi as a graduate transfer over the summer, hoping to add a little scoring punch to the Rebels' offense after three successful seasons at Tennessee-Martin.
After a frustrating first month of the season, the breakthrough might have happened on Monday night.
The 6-foot-4 senior guard scored 16 points, including making three 3-pointers, and M.J. Rhett added 14 as Mississippi coasted to an 82-51 victory over Southeast Missouri at Landers Center. Smith had made just 1 of 14 attempts from 3-point range before Monday's win.
''Once you see one go in the goal gets a whole lot bigger,'' Smith said with a grin.
Smith and Rhett both had season-highs in points. Ole Miss (8-3) was in control from the beginning, jumping out to a 19-4 lead after making eight of its first 10 attempts from the field.
It was Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy's 200th career victory. He reached the mark in 10 seasons - nine with the Rebels and one at Cincinnati.
The Rebels' final margin of 31 points was their largest of the game, but they led by double figures throughout the second half. They've won three of their past four games.
Southeast Missouri (5-7) couldn't dig out of the early hole and never led. Jarekious Bradley led the Redhawks with 10 points.
Ole Miss continues to build chemistry after adding Smith and Rhett during the offseason. Rhett is also a graduate transfer from Tennessee State and both have slowly adapted to the Rebels' offense.
Rhett, a 6-foot-9 forward, made 6 of 7 shots from the field in 19 minutes on the floor. Smith was averaging just 2.1 points per game before Monday's outburst.
''We got into a rhythm and it became contagious,'' Kennedy said. ''As a result, (Southeast Missouri) never really had any life. We were making shots early ... good win for us.''
The Rebels routinely had open looks in transition early in the game and Dwight Coleby's two-handed slam a few seconds before the buzzer gave them a 47-24 halftime lead. Ole Miss shot 18 of 34 (52.9 percent) from the field in the first half.
Stefan Moody added 13 points and Sebastian Saiz 11 for the Rebels.
Southeast Missouri shot just 19 of 60 (31.7 percent) from the field.
''We knew if we caught (Ole Miss) on a bad night, we might have a chance,'' Southeast Missouri coach Dickey Nutt said. ''Unfortunately, this was not one of those nights ... this is probably the poorest we've played all year, but you've got to give them credit for that. They're good and they let us have it.''
Kennedy on his 200th victory: ''We've had some success. Hopefully we'll have some more.''
Southeast Missouri: The Redhawks have played three Southeastern Conference opponents this season. They also lost 65-61 to Missouri and 84-67 to Arkansas.
Mississippi: Ole Miss starting point guard Jarvis Summers didn't play on Monday because of a back injury. A spokesman said he's considered day-to-day. Ole Miss had a 39-29 advantage in rebounding.
Southeast Missouri hosts Harris-Stowe on Sunday.
Ole Miss plays at Dayton on Dec. 30.
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