Mississippi State vs Florida

Florida bounces back from loss to thump Mississippi State

CBSSports.com wire reports
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 2 Florida played without forward Will Yeguete, benched starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin and got an injury scare from Erik Murphy.

It didn't matter against Mississippi State.

Mike Rosario scored 18 points, Murphy added 17 before leaving with a sprained ankle and the Gators bounced back from a humbling loss earlier in the week to thump the short-handed Bulldogs 83-58 on Saturday.

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The game looked every bit like a matchup of the Southeastern Conference's best and worst teams.

Then again, it wasn't nearly as lopsided as the 35-point beatdown Florida handed Mississippi State on its home court two weeks ago.

"When we play like that, it's hard to beat us," guard Kenny Boynton said.

Casey Prather, playing in place of Yeguete, chipped in 12 points and five rebounds. Yeguete had arthroscopic surgery Friday to remove loose bodies in his right knee and will miss at least the rest of the regular season.

The Gators (19-3, 9-1 SEC) went 4-5 without him last season, but handled his absence much better against the Bulldogs.

"Obviously, he's a big piece of our team that we lost," said Michael Frazier II, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds in his first career start. "But we've got to play together, play hard and try to make up for what he brought to the team."

Mississippi State (7-15, 2-8) played without guard Jalen Steele, who didn't make the trip after being suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

It was a big blow for a team already down three players.

Freshmen Andre Applewhite and Jacoby Davis are out for the season with knee injuries, and senior Wendell Lewis is sidelined with a fractured right patella.

So the Bulldogs came to Gainesville with six scholarship players and two walk-ons, not exactly the ideal roster to upset the league's highest-ranked team.

The scoreboard proved it.

Gavin Ware led the Bulldogs, who have lost eight in a row, with 16 points. Colin Borchert added 14 and Trivante Bloodman had 10.

"It's really hard to take a loss," Borchert said. "We fought hard and we are a no-excuse team."

Florida took a double-digit lead midway through the first half. Frazier had a lot to do with it, hitting his first three 3-pointers.

The Gators made it 36-18 on Murphy's baseline hook shot with 4:27 remaining before halftime. Murphy finished 7-of-10 shooting, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. It was a stark contrast to his last game, a 2-for-7 performance against Arkansas on Tuesday night.

The game really got lopsided after the break.

Florida, which led 42-26 after 20 minutes, scored the first 10 points of the second half. Wilbekin hit a 3, Boynton made a layup, Rosario hit a pull-up jumper and Murphy drained another from behind the arc.

Everything went right for the Gators.

It was the complete opposite of what happened Tuesday night at Arkansas.

Pat Young picked up two early fouls, Yeguete injured his knee, Murphy struggled shooting and turned the ball over four times, and Wilbekin took 15 shots for the second consecutive game.

Throw in Arkansas' hot-shooting start, and the Gators trailed by 20 points in the early going and never recovered.

On Saturday, they looked much more like the team that won 10 straight before that 80-69 loss to the Razorbacks.

One difference was that Wilbekin started the game on the bench.

"Just did not respond well at all in practice," coach Billy Donovan said. "No energy. No enthusiasm. Tried to talk to him. Didn't get much of a response. And again, wasn't a bad attitude. Wasn't like he wasn't trying. Wasn't like he quit. Just not his normal Scottie Wilbekin self in practice. And it continued Friday.

"I just told him, I said, `Listen, we're coming off of a tough loss against Arkansas. We need energy, passion, and if you're not going to play with passion, I'm going to start somebody else."'

About the only other issue for Florida was Murphy's right ankle. He tweaked it with about 4 minutes to go in the game, but Donovan said he was fine.

"He tripped," Donovan joked. "I think the line was up; I think the O'Dome's got to push it down. He trips a lot."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Erik Murphy (left), Michael Frazier II combine for 28 points as Florida bounces back with a vengeance.  (US Presswire)
Erik Murphy (left), Michael Frazier II combine for 28 points as Florida bounces back with a vengeance. (US Presswire)

 
Scoreboard
Mississippi State (7-15)263258
Florida #2 (19-3) «424183
MISSST:G. Ware 16 Pts
MISSST:C. Sword 8 Reb
MISSST:C. Sword 5 Ast
FLA:M. Rosario 18 Pts
FLA:P. Young 7 Reb
FLA:S. Wilbekin 7 Ast
 
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Mississippi StateFlorida
MISSST
Gavin Ware
FLA
Mike Rosario
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
16601840
Mississippi State Bulldogs
C. Borchert, F335-111-251314
G. Ware, F287-112-760416
F. Thomas, G284-90-04318
C. Sword, G262-82-28517
T. Bloodman, G234-71-103310
T. Cunningham, G260-30-01100
R. Johnson, F191-40-02033
B. Price, G170-10-01030
W. Lewis, CDid Not Play
J. Steele, GDid Not Play
J. Davis, GDid Not Play
Totals 23-546-1227131858
 42.6%50.0% 
Florida Gators
K. Boynton, G313-94-536110
E. Murphy, F-C267-100-051217
P. Young, C251-54-67126
M. Rosario, G247-102-340018
M. Frazier II, G244-70-063111
S. Wilbekin, G332-40-03725
C. Prather, G-F225-92-550212
D. Walker, G-F81-20-00012
D. Graham, G30-10-00300
B. Ogbueze, G31-10-00002
J. Kurtz, G10-00-00010
W. Yeguete, FDid Not Play
B. Donovan, GDid Not Play
Totals 31-5812-1933211283
 53.4%63.2% 
Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-L
Florida18-036-3
Kentucky12-629-11
Georgia12-620-14
Tennessee11-724-13
Arkansas10-822-12
Missouri9-923-12
LSU9-920-14
Ole Miss9-919-14
Texas A&M8-1018-16
Vanderbilt7-1115-16
Alabama7-1113-19
Auburn6-1214-16
S. Carolina5-1314-20
Miss. State3-1514-19
 
Other games
GTOWN 69 Final
RUT 63
MICH 62 Final
WISC 65
MISS 79 Final
MIZZOU 98
OKLAST 72 Final
TEXAS 59
BUTLER 59 Final
GW 56
DEPAUL 78 Final
MARQET 89
UNC 61 Final
MIAMI 87
KANSAS 66 Final
OKLA 72
PITT 62 Final
CINCY 52
IOWAST 70 Final
KSU 79
MIST 78 Final
PURDUE 65
LOYMRY 55 Final
GONZAG 74
UTAH 64 Final
ORE 73
LOU 101 Final
ND 104
NMEX 55 Final
UNLV 64
ILLST 75 Final
CREIGH 72