Facing their first true test of the season against Georgia Tech in the second annual Barclays Classic, Mississippi — behind 16 points from Derrick Millinghaus — defeated the Yellow Jackets 77-67. With their win, Mississippi will face Penn State in the championship game of the classic on Saturday afternoon, who beat St. John’s in overtime, 89-82.
When the Rebels take the floor, all eyes tend to focus on Marshall Henderson. Despite coming off of the bench against Georgia Tech, Henderson wasn’t bashful with his shot as he hoisted up 16 of them — 14 from beyond the arc — making four three-pointers en route to a 15 point effort. However, center Demarco Cox had a big game scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds; Georgia Tech had no answer for him inside.
The game was close midway through the first half as a Marcus Georges-Hunt layup made it 22-16 in favor of Mississippi with 9:23 remaining, but the Yellow Jackets would score just five points the rest of the half, and trailed 35-21 at the break. The lead ballooned to 21 on a Demarco Cox layup with 4:24 remaining in regulation, but Georgia Tech went on a late run to make the final score appear more respectable.
The lone bright spot for Georgia Tech was the play of sophomore guard Solomon Poole who scored a career high 24 points on 9-16 shooting coming off the bench. Conversely, Poole’s classmate, Chris Bolden, continues to struggle. Bolden was just 1-8 from the field and is now shooting a paltry 20.5% on the young season. If the Yellow Jackets are to have success this season, Bolden has to be better.
Mississippi will be challenged tomorrow against Penn State and their talented back court of D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier, who combined to score 54 points against the Red Storm.