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Murphy scores 19 to lead No. 4 Florida over No. 16 Ole Miss, 78-64

The SportsXchange

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida simply had too many answers on offense against Ole Miss.

It wasn't a dominant defensive performance, but No. 4 Florida was efficient enough on offense to beat No. 16 Ole Miss 78-64 at the O'Connell Center.

Senior Erik Murphy led four Florida scorers in double-figures with 19 points. Mike Rosario added 14 points for the Gators (18-2, 8-0 SEC). Scottie Wilbekin had 13 points and Patric Young posted his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Florida finished the game with 23 assists to just 12 turnovers. Senior guard Kenny Boynton had 9 points and a career-high 10 assists.

"We did a really good job passing and sharing the ball," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.

Marshall Henderson led Ole Miss (17-4, 6-2 SEC) with 25 points. Senior center Murphy Holloway had 15 points and 7 rebounds for the Rebels, who couldn't overcome a 40-27 halftime deficit.

"I think (Florida) will contend for the national championship," Henderson said. "We have seen how they have been blowing people out. They execute perfectly. They made open shots and good teams make open shots."

Henderson kept Ole Miss in the game early. The 6-foot-2 guard made his first two 3-point attempts, including one off a steal in transition to cut Florida's early lead to 9-8.

But up 11-10, the Gators responded with a 7-0 run, attacking Ole Miss' zone defense both inside and out. Patric Young and Will Yeguete had back-to-back inside baskets during the run, followed by a 3-pointer from Erik Murphy.

Up 20-14, Florida went on another 10-0 run that featured 3-pointers from Murphy and Michael Frazier. Frazier's 3-pointer in the corner extended UF's lead to 30-14 with 9:39 to go in the first half.

Florida took its biggest lead of the half, 35-15, on an inside basket from Murphy. But Ole Miss answered with a 10-0 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers from Henderson.

A Murphy 3-pointer extended UF's lead back to 38-25. After a pair of Ole Miss free throws, Florida junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin hit a baseline jumper at the first half buzzer, putting Florida up 40-27 at halftime.

The Gators shot 54.8 percent from the field in the first half, while holding Ole Miss to 41.7 percent shooting.

In the second half, the Gators extended their lead to 23 points before holding on late. A three-point play from Jarvis Summers cut Florida's lead to 63-50 with 7:12 left, but Ole Miss couldn't cut UF's lead to single-digits.

"It was a good game," Donovan said. "It was one of those games where it never really got going up and down the floor like I wanted to -- or as much as I would have wanted it to. When it did, we went on some runs. Henderson made some shots to kind of dig into our lead a little bit."

NOTES: Ole Miss senior guard Nick Williams (foot) and sophomore forward Aaron Jones (knee) sat out of the game due to injuries. Jones is out for the season after tearing his ACL last Tuesday against Kentucky. ... Florida football coach Will Muschamp was among fans in attendance for the game. ... Florida posted its second sellout of the season. Attendance was 12,522.
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