FINAL: No. 8 Florida 82, MSU 47

Recapping MSU’s 82-47 loss to No. 8 Florida at Humphrey Coliseum on Saturday night.


• The buzz: MSU (7-11, 2-4 SEC) was no match for the SEC’s best team, as the Gators (16-2, 6-0) built an early double-digit lead – 31-8 by the 8:30 mark – and didn’t let up. This was Florida’s eight consecutive win and MSU’s fourth consecutive loss. It marked the first time since Humphrey Coliseum opened in 1975 that State lost back-to-back home games by 30-plus points (it fell by 32 to Alabama last time here).

• Turning point: UF was leading 10-6 when it went on a 10-0 run, and that extended to a 21-2 run.

• MVP: Freshman guard Fred Thomas scored a career-high 19 points.

• Florida leaders: Kenny Boynton 18 points (7-11 FGs, 4-8 3FGs); Erik Murphy 18 points (6-8 FGs, 4-6 3FGs, 2-2 FTs), 6 rebounds; Patric Young 13 points (6-6 FGs, 1-2 FTs), 6 rebounds; Scottie Wilbekin 13 points (5-9 FGs, 3-5 3FGs, 9 assists.

• MSU leaders: Thomas 19 points (5-14 FGs, 1-5 3FGs, 8-9 FTs), 7 steals; Colin Borchert 10 points (3-10 FGs, 2-5 3FGs, 2-2 FTs); Gavin Ware 10 points (5-7 FGs), 3 rebounds.

• Key stats: Florida out-rebounded MSU 44-20. … UF had nine second-chance points, MSU two. … Florida shot 55.4 percent overall, 45.2 percent (14 of 31) from 3-point range. … MSU shot 32.7 percent overall, 20 percent (3 of 15) from 3-point range.

• Highlight reel: Thomas had a nice little sequence in the first half where he was fouled on a 3-pointer, made all three free throws, then moments later swatted a Boynton 3-pointer out of bounds.

• Quotable: “Right now we’re just a selfish basketball team.” – MSU coach Rick Ray

• Bottom line: The good news is MSU cut down on turnovers. But that’s about the only statistical category that won’t make Ray cringe. The Bulldogs are still weak on the glass and has trouble getting its scorers good looks (namely Jalen Steele, who had not points on 0-of-5 shooting). Tonight’s loss really showed how far MSU has to go in this rebuilding effort.

• Up next: MSU is home again Wednesday against Texas A&M (12-7, 2-4), which lost to Georgia on Saturday, 59-52. Tipoff is 8 p.m. on CSS.

I am the online content coordinator for I also co-host The Memo and Prep Rally podcasts and host the Newsbreak program. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04).

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