Making a legitimate case to be viewed as one of the top teams in the country, No. 7/8 Florida Gators basketball (16-2, 6-0 SEC) remained undefeated in Southeastern Conference play with a dominant 82-47 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-11, 2-4 SEC) on Saturday at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, MS.
Florida continued its trend of wiping out league opponents with its 35-point rout of Mississippi State. The Gators have now defeated all six of their SEC adversaries by at least 17 points and are averaging a 26.5-point margin of victory in conference play.
Trailing 4-3 early in the contest, Florida put its foot on the gas and rattled off a 28-4 scoring stretch to jump ahead of Mississippi State by 23 points midway through the first half.
The Bulldogs answered by scoring seven-straight points to cut into the Gators’ advantage, but UF quickly got a handle on the situation and built its lead back up to 41-19 by the time the halftime buzzer sounded.
Just minutes into the second half, Florida had already put together another impressive scoring stretch – this time a 15-0 run – to take a 56-21 lead with 15 minutes left to play.
The Gators cruised from that point forward with their primary rotation players remaining in the game until there were five minutes left.
Florida had the four leading scorers in the game with seniors guard Kenny Boynton (7-of-11, 4-of-8 from three) and forward Erik Murphy (6-of-8, 4-of-6 from downtown) each scoring 18 points and juniors center Patric Young (6-for-6) and point guard Scottie Wilbekin (5-of-9, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc) each registering 13 points.
Murphy and Young both added six rebounds, and Wilbekin dished a game-high nine assists. Freshman G Michael Frazier and junior F Will Yeguete led the way with eight boards each; Yeguete added four dimes and two steals to his line.
The Gators outshot the Bulldogs from the field (.564-.327) and downtown (.452-.200) while dominating the rebounding battle with a 44-20 advantage on the boards.
Florida registered 23 assists on 31 made baskets and blocked four shots but did commit 14 turnovers while forcing just nine from Mississippi State.