Published January 08, 2015
Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy, comparing the Rebels' season opener to Monday's 74-64 win at Troy, likes what he sees.
Ole Miss bounced back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, shot 50 percent from the field and outrebounded the Trojans 42-28.
"I saw improvement in a lot of areas," Kennedy said. "We rebounded much better and we made some shots, but we're still a work in progress."
Senior Jarvis Summers, a preseason All-Southeastern Conference pick, scored 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Stefan Moody and Ladarius White added 14 points each.
Summers had eight points on 3-of-13 shooting last Friday and the Rebels (1-1) shot 33 percent against Charleston Southern.
"Obviously, it's a long season," Kennedy said. "But I wanted to see some improvement tonight."
Wesley Person scored 25 points, the most by a Troy freshman in at least 14 years, to lead the Trojans (1-1).
Kevin Thomas finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds for Troy, which shot 32 percent.
"We're probably not quite ready to beat a team like Ole Miss, unless we have a special night shooting the ball," Troy coach Phil Cunningham said. "We had one guy with a special night shooting the ball."
Moody's basket with 2 1/2 minutes remaining gave Ole Miss its biggest lead at 70-55. Troy never led.
The Trojans, down 34-23 at halftime, pulled within four early in the second half on a three-point play by John Walton III.
Ole Miss scored on its next four possessions, capped by a basket by Summers, and led 44-32.
After Troy sliced the lead to five with 13 minutes left, the Rebels scored six straight points, including four by Moody.
Ole Miss: Summers is the Southeastern Conference's active career leader in points (1,262), assists (378), minutes played (3,268) and wins (67). . Ole Miss has a 9-0 all-time record against Troy.
Troy: The Trojans hosted just their second Southeastern Conference team. In November 2012, Troy opened Trojan Arena with a 56-53 win over Mississippi State. . Troy shot 21 percent in the first half.
Ole Miss hosts Southern on Thursday.
Troy travels to Georgia on Friday.
Moody, a junior, was scoreless at halftime before finishing with 14 points in his second game for Ole Miss. The junior scored seven points in his Rebels debut Friday. "He's obviously an explosive athlete," Kennedy said. "The first three halves of his Ole Miss career, he didn't show a lot of his game, but he showed it in the second half."
Person, who has started Troy's first two games, is the first freshman to start for the school since December 2000. The last freshman to score at least 19 points for the Trojans was Rob Lewin vs. Nicholls State in December 2000. Person's dad, Wesley Sr., played in the NBA for 11 seasons.