White scores 27 as Ole Miss tops Troy 84-65 in NIT
OXFORD, Miss. (AP)—Terrico White scored 27 points to lead Mississippi to an 84-65 victory over Troy on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.
White and the second-seeded Rebels (22-10) made things look easy against the seventh-seeded Trojans (20-13), the Sun Belt regular-season champions. White and Chris Warren, who scored 16 points, helped spark a 20-5 first-half run that broke a 25-25 tie.
“I thought he was aggressive and it’s always helpful to make shots early because they stay aggressive,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said of White. “I would like to see that every night, but maybe he’s not ready to do that every night. You forget that he’s a sophomore and we want him to approach like that every night because he’s certainly got the ability to do something.”
The Rebels advanced to play Memphis, which edged St. John’s 73-71.
Brandon Hazzard led Troy, the Sun Belt regular-season champion, with 22 points, while Michael Vogler had 16.
“They did a good job like I’ve seen them during the season,” Troy coach Don Maestri said of Mississippi. “They’re a talented team with only one senior on the team. If they keep their focus, hopefully I would like to see them play well the next game and really go further. This NIT may be a real positive for their team since they only have one senior on their team.”
Ole Miss continued to add to its lead early in the second half by scoring the first six points of the period.
White went 11 for 20 from the floor in the victory, which included 3 for 5 from 3-point range, while he added seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.
“I was just making my shots really,” said White, who finished two points shy of his season high. “In the first half, I came out and made my first couple of shots and then the whole game I was feeling it.
Murphy Holloway and Terrance Henry each scored 11 points for Ole Miss.
The Rebels led by 22 at 57-35 when White hit 1 of 2 free throws at the 15-minute mark. Troy pulled within 12 of the Rebels with 10:51 left with the aid of an 11-0 run, but the Rebels responded by scoring eight straight points to push the lead back to 20 points.
“We got a lot of mileage out of this group of kids,” Maestri said. “They won a conference championship. They’ve got a diamond ring coming. They’re going to hang two banners in our gym. They’re hanging banners in the arena that we have, that’s a credit to the seniors on this basketball team.”