March 1, 2008

Report card: Ole Miss 91, Alabama 88

Perimeter Offense
Alabama shot pretty well from the outside (9 of 22 on 3-pointers) and committed a manageable number of turnovers for a road game. Mykal Riley continued his hot shooting with five from long range. Riley, Senario Hillman and Rico Pickett combined for an 8-of-9 day at the free-throw line. Pickett (13 points, seven assists) played his best road SEC game of the season.

Perimeter Defense
Ole Miss matched Alabama shot for shot as Chris Warren and David Huertas combined for 43 points. Warren redeemed a poor performance in Tuscaloosa with a game-high 25, hurting Alabama both from 3-point range and by getting to the foul line, where he was 9 for 9. As a team, Ole Miss was 8 of 15 on 3-pointers. The perimeter defense wasn't as bad a performance as the trip to Auburn last weekend, but it wasn't much better.

Interior Offense
On a day when Richard Hendrix wasn't quite as effective as he usually is (10 points, five rebounds0, Alabama got a strong encore from Demetrius Jemison. He scored 17 on 7 of 10 shooting, and was perfect at the free-throw line (3 of 3). A resurgent Jemison now has 36 points over his last two games.

Interior Defense
Without question, this is where Alabama was beaten on Saturday. Ole Miss center Dwayne Curtis got great position on the low block time and time again, scoring layups against an Alabama defense that could not keep him out of the lane. Curtis shot 9 of 13. Kenny Williams shot 5 of 7 for 13 points with much the same formula. Ole Miss outscored Alabama 44-30 in the paint.

Bench Play
Alabama's bench outscored Ole Miss' 24-5 as Senario Hillman played one of his better games of the season. Justin Knox was active on both ends, scoring six points, grabbing three rebounds and committing three fouls in just 10 minutes. Fans also saw Senario Hillman - for the first time this year - create some 2-point jumpers with his quickness off the dribble.

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