Ole Miss basketball team off to quick start

Published 2:50 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Todd Abernethy scored a career-high 23 points Friday to lead Mississippi to a 100-80 win over Nicholls State.

Ole Miss (6-1) is off to their best start since the 2000-01 season, when the Rebels won the SEC Western Division title and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Rebels placed five players in double figures as Clarence Sanders and Bam Doyne, who added 11 rebounds, scored 20 points apiece. Kenny Williams had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Jeremy Parnell added 13.

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Nicholls (0-7) got 21 points from Stefan Blaszczynski, making his first appearance after a preseason injury. Ryan Bathie and Mitch Boyce added 18 and 14 points, respectively, for the Colonels.

The Rebels shot a season-best 34-of-68 from the field, including 9-of-26 from three-point range. Nicholls shot 28-of-58 from the field, but was limited to three baskets in the final eight minutes and turned the ball over 11 times.

Nicholls led 48-42 at halftime on the strength of 9-of-18 shooting from three-point range.

Ole Miss opened the second half with a 10-2 spurt, taking a 52-50 lead on a Doyne layup with 17:12 left. The clubs swapped leads five times before Ole Miss went on a 10-0 run, capped by a Xavier Hansbro dunk, to take an insurmountable 70-62 lead with 9:53 left.

The Rebels, who hit 12-of-14 free throws in the final six minutes, never allowed Nicholls within six points again.

Nicholls is 1-24 all-time against SEC opponents.