Big Run Lifts Ole Miss Past Men's Basketball

LSU honored its senior class on Saturday
LSU honored its senior class on Saturday
Steve Franz
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Kent Lowe (@LSUkent)
Communications Sr. Associate

BATON ROUGE -- Ole Miss outscored LSU 34-9 in 13 minutes spanning the two halves and never looked back in an 81-67 victory in the regular-season finale on Saturday in front of 10,187 at the Maravich Center.

Led by Marshall Henderson's 22 points, Ole Miss (23-8, 12-6 SEC) shot 52.5 percent from the field to distance itself from the Tigers.

LSU (18-11, 9-9 SEC) led 21-13 with 11:54 left in the first half, but the Tigers went cold from the field and trailed 43-30 at the half. Ole Miss, which scored the first four points of the second half, extended its advantage to as many as 19 with less than 12 minutes to play.

Though LSU rallied, it could not get within single digits until the final two minutes. The Tigers finished 23-of-56 shooting for 41.1 percent.

LSU's Johnny O'Bryant III collected his league-leading 14th double double of the season after scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Guard Andre Stringer had a team-high of 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with four treys.  Anthony Hickey had 10 points in the game.

After finishing at .500 in the league under first-year head coach Johnny Jones, the Tigers will next play in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday at noon CT in Nashville. LSU is the ninth seed and will face Georgia, a team that beat LSU in January, 67-58, when LSU was starting league play 0-4.

LSU did set a single season record for threes in a season after making nine against Ole Miss, bringing their season total to 217, topping the previous mark of 215 set in 2003.

The game took an ominous tone as one of the Tiger seniors, Charles Carmouche, took a hard blow on a layup attempt by Holloway in the first 1:02 of the game. Carmouche limped to the bench with a sore hip, but returned to the game, but appear to struggle at times while playing through the injury. Carmouche finished with eight points, four assists and four steals. Carmouche would still play 30 minutes.

Ole Miss was able to get the ball down low, getting 36 points in the paint to LSU's 20 and out rebounded LSU, 37-31.

LSU finishing at 9-9 marked just the seventh time in the last 20 years that LSU has finished 500 or better in the league and the 18 wins matched last year's win totals.

Prior to the game, the Tigers honored seniors Mychael Williams, Carmouche, Andrew Del Piero (who had 7 points) and Eddie Ludwig, who has been injured since mid-January and unable to play.

LSU will leave for Nashville on Tuesday evening and have a practice and media session at the Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's game. The tournament begins on Wednesday night with two games.

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LSU vs. Ole Miss
March 9, 2013


Opening statement ...
"Well, I thought we did come out to play tonight. From the jump, I thought we played with a sense of urgency. I thought we played extremely well right off the bat. I thought Ole Miss, being the type of team that they are and are capable of being, did an excellent job before the half of making a run. They played extremely tough for about the last three or four minutes offensively. They made some huge plays. They got a lot of the 50-50 balls and really finished the first half extremely strong. I thought our guys did a good job of at least trying to make a run at them in the second half, but unfortunately Ole Miss really responded like they needed to. It's unfortunate. I thought we played one of the better teams that we've played all year long. I think, with the way that they played today, that they are very capable. Guard play, post guys and all of those guys are extremely active. (Murphy) Holloway was very good in the first half and Marshall Henderson made some big plays there in the second half to really keep us at bay. So, it was just a tough day for us, and we just couldn't recover against a really good team."

On the effect of Charles Carmouche's injury early in the first half ...
"I thought it just changed a little bit of momentum, because I think the way that he's really been playing for us these last few weeks and the impact that he's made on our team. It's just a threat having him on the floor. With the toughness and the leadership that he provides and gives to us, I think that hurt us a little bit there and I thought they were able to take advantage of it."

On Ole Miss having success scoring in the paint ...
"I think they did a great job, even when we stretched our defense out, of getting some easy scoring opportunities. They made some layups and got dunks. I thought they were able to drive us to the basket. I thought (Murphy) Holloway, in the first half, wound up getting 14. We held him to two points there in the second half, but their guards were really strong and really physical. They actually got us in the paint area as well and were able to shoot up over us. So, it was just kind of a tough matchup for us. I thought those guys were hitting on all cylinders today."

On facing a dynamic team like Ole Miss ...
"Well, you have to really play it because anytime you've got guys like a (Marshall) Henderson you've got to leave those post guys out there and hope that they can get a hand up, try to take away his look initially and try to recover. We should be doing a better job on the backside of it. With a team like this, you have to be extremely physical in catching that roll guy and try to keep him away from the basket, because the lower he gets the more effective they're going to be. They were able to get in there a little bit deeper today because of how physical they are."

On Johnny O'Bryant's game ...
"Unfortunately for Johnny, he's been out of practice for the last two days. He hasn't practiced and we tried to get him back in today and see. He was able to give us something today. I think it was more to what we were looking for. It was either rest him or practice him and possibly take a chance of putting him in position where his injury would get worse. I think it's really difficult to miss two full days of practice like that and come play against this caliber of competition. So, it wasn't really fair to Johnny. We really put him in that position, and you really just roll the dice and hope that he'll be able to execute and play."

On what this game meant to the team ...
"Well, I think it was a big game for us. I think you really want to be playing well. I think that's the key and if we had won that would be my song right about now. At the same time, you put yourself in a position where you have a setback, and if you're going to have it at this time of year you'd much rather have it now than in your next game. I think it gives us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board. It's been brought to my attention that we've been pretty good this year after setbacks and how we responded in the next game. I'm hopeful that that will hold true for us as well. I think our guys will do a great job of playing with a sense of urgency in the next game because of the setback that we had today. Obviously, we've got some things we've got to work on, like attention to detail, and we'll get better and be ready to play on Thursday."

On the first matchup against Georgia and facing them in the first round of the SEC Tournament ...
"I thought it was a really hard-fought battle. Georgia played one of their better games that they played in the early part of the season. It's a team that I think we've got a chance to matchup up with pretty well. They've got some active guys inside, then they've got an unbelievable scorer, like we saw today, that's just extremely tough to guard. So, it will be a great matchup and one we look forward to."


F Johnny O' Bryant, III

On the game ...
"I think we got off to a great start. We were making shots and getting stops. Then all of a sudden, we let them go on a run. We let (Marshall) Henderson get going and we let (Murphy) Holloway get going. It made it tough for us to come back against a good team like Ole Miss."

On post-season play ...
"The regular season is over. Every team is 0-0 now. When you go into the conference tournament, anything can happen. Last year, we played a good game against Arkansas then faced a good Kentucky team. We had them and we stayed in the game. Like I said, the teams are 0-0 right now. It's a whole new season, so we're ready to put it in front of us. We're going to be ready to play."

G Charles Carmouche

On his injury ...
"I hit my upper butt, right by my waistline, by my lower back. I tried to get up and walk it off, and I went in the back and walked it off a bit. I tried to come back out and I couldn't really run. The more I was sitting and standing around, I started not to walk. I went out back and got a shot. I felt it was a whole lot better than when I came out of the game the first time."

On returning to the court after injury ...
"I was still trying to get back out there. I was watching from the back and I thought we were playing well. I don't know if I came in and slowed the team down a little bit because of my own injury. With a team like this, you can't really let them get going. We put ourselves in a hole and went down 13 at the half. With the way (Ole Miss) plays, it's hard to come back."

On taking a lot of outside shots instead of going down the lane ...
"(Ole Miss) went zone on us. Most zones are designed for us to shoot, but we made it into what they wanted us to do. I thought we could have gotten the ball in the middle more. I think we did what we normally do, but we just didn't make as many three's as we normally do."

On the full-court press ...
"I think normally guys are out of control at the front of the press. (Ole Miss) was poised and they handled the pressure well. Once they got the ball passed on the front court, it was pretty much a two-on-one or three-on-one break. I believe that at one point when (Marshall) Henderson pulled up on the three just took the wind out of us. That was a big shot and we were trying to come back."

G Andre Stringer

On playing without Charles Carmouche due to injury ...
"It was very difficult because of the magnitude of (Carmouche). He's a great player. He brings another guard that can penetrate, shoot the ball and do a number of things offensively and defensively. So it was tough, but we knew he was going to be tough enough to come back. We tried to execute while he was away, but we let some of (Ole Miss') guys get open for some shots. (Murphy) Holloway got going and I lost Henderson a couple of times. Against a team like that, you can't do that."

On guarding Ole Miss' Marshall Henderson ...
"He plays two guard, so I figured I was going to guard him once were up against them. He finished with 22 points, so I'm not happy with my effort defensively. I just tried to get after him as much as I could, but obviously he's a great player and he's going to make shots. They're going to keep screaming for him and they're going to keep looking for him."

On playing with a quick turn-around and during Senior Day ...
"We're used to that. We don't make excuses. (Ole Miss) just came to play. We thought we were going to come to this game and play hard, but they played harder than us. They got the 50/50 balls, they sustained throughout the whole game and we didn't. They made more plays than we did. It's not about Senior Night and everything before that. We were ready."


On his team's composure...
"I thought once we started getting a couple of stops and made a couple of baskets we seized the lead. Once we hit that 22-21 mark, we seemed to exhale a little bit because we were trying to do too much on the road as opposed to letting the game just develop.

On the team's balance...
"I felt we got contributions from everyone who was in the game. Nick Williams goes 4-of-4 against Alabama and 5-of-6 tonight.  That is so huge. There is so much attention put on Marshall (Henderson) on one side of the floor but you've got to play on both sides. We've been missing that element. Nick made shots; I thought Jarvis (Summers) had a great floor game. Murphy (Holloway) brought great energy. We found a way in the second half to grind through some stops.

On Marshall Henderson's performance...
"I thought it was very efficient and for him to have five assists and five steals. I thought he did a good job of sharing the ball and taking what the defense gave them. 

On his team winning when it counts...
"I don't think about it like these are college kids and they will be inconsistent most of the time. At the end of the day I say it comes down to the numbers on the piece of paper. For us, it's easier said than done to not get too high and not get too low. I was glad our guys responded against Alabama on Senior Night and we came in here today seeing the finish line. This is the last regular season of the year and 31 games ago we started this. We were playing for a lot and controlling our destiny as it pertains to receiving a bye and get into the top four so that we know on Friday we will be playing a quality opponent."

On talking about attaining the top four seed...
"I talked about it every day because it was something that was attainable to us and we did not need any help. With a couple of losses we put ourselves in harms way and we realized that. We can still control our own destiny when there are opportunities. For us, that was the focus, to finish the season on the right note and get the top-four seed.


On being in control of the game...
"Basically I just had to get a feel for the game. I just had to run my team, know my personnel and get my team wide-open shots. I had to be the point guard out there."

On what Ole Miss needs to do at the SEC Championships...
"We're not even worrying about that. We're just going to take one game at a time and just play hard."

On building confidence after early season road struggles...
"It gives us some confidence because we just played a hard game against a hard team (LSU). Congrats to them and we just have to do what we need to do."


On controlling the glass from the beginning...
"I just came out trying to hit the offensive glass trying to get some easy points and get going early."

On a previous quote Holloway made in the locker room against Mississippi State. "It's not over until it's over."...
"Like I said, we're going to live by that until it's over. We played as a team. Some days we look like one of the best teams in the SEC and sometimes we look like the worst. Today we looked like one of the best."

On playing like the best team in the SEC...
"On the road I feel like we try to make plays off one pass or two passes. Just getting the ball moving around, getting in the post, getting it out and cutting. Give Marshall (Henderson) easy looks also."

On winning a road game against LSU with not much trouble...
"It surprised me. It wasn't a real dog fight at the end but I'm just glad we got this win on the road."

On being composed during LSU's offensive runs...
"Coach (Andy Kennedy) just told us we withstood their best run at the beginning so now it's time to grind it out and make them guard. We had to guard as well, which we did and we made the game tough and kept executing."

On flustering LSU's Johnny O'Bryant's game early...
"He struggles in the first half but he ended up playing well. He's a good player and is going to be a good player here (LSU) for sure. I wish we could have gotten him."




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