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Florida 83, Mississippi State 58

The SportsXchange

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Mike Rosario led five Florida scorers in double figures with 18 points, lifting the No. 2 Gators to an 83-58 win over Mississippi State on Saturday at the O'Connell Center.

Erik Murphy added 17 points for the Gators (19-3, 9-1 SEC). But Murphy was taken back to the locker room with four minutes remaining with an apparent leg injury.

Casey Prather scored 12 points off the bench for Florida. Freshman Michael Frazier II added 11 points and senior guard Kenny Boynton had 10 points and six assists.

Freshman center Gavin Ware led Mississippi State (7-15, 2-8 SEC) with 16 points. The Bulldogs dropped their eighth straight game.

Up 15-10 early, Florida created some breathing room with an 11-0 run. Michael Frazier's third straight 3-pointer extended Florida's lead to 18-10. Murphy followed with a short jumper in lane and Prather got a steal on the press and breakaway dunk to extend Florida's lead to 22-10. Another Prather jumper and two free throws from Boynton put the Gators ahead 26-10.

From there, the Gators maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the half. Mississippi State cut Florida's lead to 39-26 on a steal and dunk by freshman guard Craig Sword with 1:33 left. But Rosario followed with a driving basket to put Florida back up 41-26 with 51.3 seconds left. Boynton then made one of two free throws after being fouled on a runout to give the Gators a 42-26 halftime lead.

Florida shot 55.2 percent from the floor in the first half and 42.9 percent (6 of 14) from 3-point range. After missing their first five 3-point attempts, the Gators made 6 of their next nine to close out the half.

The Gators also converted 16 points off 11 Mississippi State turnovers in the first half.

NOTES: Florida junior forward Will Yeguete underwent successful surgery Friday to remove bone chips in his knee. Yeguete will be out four to six weeks. ... Florida coach Billy Donovan benched starting point guard Scottie Wilbekin for undisclosed reasons. Boynton started at point guard for the Gators and Frazier, a freshman, made his first career start in place of Wilbekin. ... Mississippi State played without junior guard Jalen Steele, who was suspended indefinitely by the team for disciplinary reasons.
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