Bonds, Lewis lead Florida past Mississippi State

GEORGE HENRY (Associated Press)
The Associated Press
Bonds, Lewis lead Florida past Mississippi State
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Mississippi State guard Katia May, left, and Florida guard Carlie Needles chase down a loose ball in the first half of a second-round women's Southeastern Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Duluth, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) -- Jaterra Bonds scored 18 points, Kayla Lewis added 17 and Florida beat Mississippi State 71-67 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Thursday.

The fifth-seeded Gators (19-11) will play No. 12 Kentucky, the tournament's No. 4 seed, on Friday.

Kendra Grant finished with 14 points and Katia May had 12 for Mississippi State (19-13), which failed to advance past the second round for the 10th time in 11 years. The Bulldogs have lost nine straight to Florida.

Cassie Peoples' 3-pointer in the final minute of first half gave Gators their biggest lead at 15.

Florida was outscored 20-8 over a nearly 9-minute span of the second half and trailed 56-55 on Jerica James' 3-pointer.

But the Gators led for the final 7:32 after Peoples hit a jumper.