for this game

Polynice, Ole Miss rout Alabama A&M, continue perfect start

Jan 3, 2008 - 6:41 AM OXFORD, Mississippi (Ticker) -- Eniel Polynice and Mississippi made the most of their last chance to celebrate before the real work begins.

Polynice scored all 13 of his points in the first half as the 18th-ranked Rebels remained among the dwindling group of unbeatens with an 86-50 victory over Alabama A&M on Wednesday.

David Huertas finished with 17 points and Chris Warren added 15 and seven assists for Mississippi (13-0), which is just one of six schools in Division I left without a setback.

Extending their record for the best start in school history, the Rebels next will turn their attention to their Southeastern Conference opener at ninth-ranked Tennessee next Wednesday.

Prior to its surprising start, Ole Miss was predicted to finish last in the SEC West Division.

"We know the challenges of league play," Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. "A lot of the so-called experts are saying that this is a down year for the SEC. I still think Tennessee can compete for a national championship. They have so many weapons."

Despite the huge upcoming road game, Polynice and the Rebels were not caught looking ahead. They scored the first 13 points of the game and were ahead, 30-9, with just under eight minutes remaining before halftime.

"This could have been a game where our guys may have let their guard down," Kennedy said. "We're approaching league play, and I think they are excited about the opportunity to play in the league.

"I have been pleased with our team. They have had a business-like approach. We have a pretty good system. We are getting better in several areas. Tonight was an opportunity to gain experience in several areas for our new guys and I thought our kids responded well."

Polynice had nine points in that strong start and finished 6-of-13 from the field.

Huertas added eight first-half points, including two 3-pointers, as Ole Miss held a 46-19 lead at intermission.

A sophomore just like Polynice, Huertas finished with a season-high five 3-pointers.

"I think David is just a little more relaxed," Kennedy said. "His rhythm and timing have gotten great. You have to remember that this is a kid that hasn't played in the better part of two years. Early on, he was out of sync."

The Rebels shot 53 percent (35-of-66), including 11-of-23 from the arc.

Dwayne Curtis added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Ole Miss, which turned 20 turnovers by Alabama A&M into 27 points.

LaNorris Smith had 12 points for the Bulldogs (3-7), who dropped their fourth straight game.

    --- --- -----
    ALABAMA A&M 19 31 50
    OLE MISS (18) 46 40 86 FINAL

    Jan 2 9:57 PM

    ALABAMA A&M 19

    Jan 2 8:46 PM