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Rebels continue hot streak

OXFORD (AP) — First there was the terrible shooting touch and then a power outage plunged Tad Smith Coliseum into darkness.

Ole Miss senior Murphy Holloway could have been frustrated, but instead he just laughed it off. Not much can faze these Rebels, and now they’re off to their best start in Southeastern Conference play since the 1936-37 season.

Marshall Henderson scored 16 points, Murphy Holloway added 15 and Ole Miss slowly pulled away late in the second half for a 76-64 victory over Arkansas on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m proud that our team continues to find a way to win,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. “We’ve still got a lot of things that we can improve. It’s the first time we’ve started 4-0 since 1937, but that actually has absolutely nothing to do with this group. They don’t think about any of that stuff. It’s just about us getting better and getting to the next game. Obviously, the spotlight’s gotten a little brighter.”

The hard-fought game was stopped by an approximately 30-minute long power outage with 5:37 left in the first half, which school officials said was due to a power failure that affected a large chunk of the campus. Ole Miss led 24-21 when the court went dark, and the Rebels seemed to respond better to the lengthy delay, pushing the lead to 34-26 by halftime when play finally resumed.

“(Arkansas was) probably more mad about it then we were,” Holloway said with a grin. “We go to Ole Miss — a lot of stuff doesn’t work right around here.”

Ole Miss’ home court — affectionately known as the “Tad Pad” — is one of the older facilities in the SEC and isn’t known for its aesthetic beauty. It’s also had issues before, like during a Ole Miss-Tennessee women’s game in 2011 when a rainstorm outside leaked through the roof and flooded the floor.

But when the lights were on during Saturday’s game, the Tad Pad was loud. The school announced a second straight sellout.

The Rebels didn’t make a 3-pointer in the first half, but hit six of them after halftime to slowly pull away. Jarvis Summers and Nick Williams both added 14 points to help extend the team’s winning streak to seven games.

Williams began the season as a starter, but has moved into a sixth man role that he’s embraced. He was 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

“I had to get used to it at first,” Williams said. “Me and coach talked about some ways I can help the team and we thought that was best.”