GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dominique Dillingham scored 16 points as Mississippi State fell to Florida 82-72 in Gainesville in Thursday’s Southeastern Conference opener.
The Bulldogs fall to 13-2 overall, 0-1 in league play, heading into Sunday’s home league opener against Auburn at 2 p.m.
The Gators ran their record to 11-3 and 1-0 in the conference.
Breanna Richardson recorded her second-straight double-double in her SEC debut, scoring 12 points to go with 11 rebounds. Jerica James also reached double digits with 12 points.
Mississippi State was unable to overcome a tough first half that saw it trail 40-30.
Florida jumped out to a quick lead, but Richardson tied the game at seven off the old-fashioned 3-point play.
Katia May gave MSU a 2-point lead, but Jaterra Bonds tied it with two of her 11 first-half points.
Ronni Williams hit a free throw and, off the offensive rebound, Bonds knocked down a 3-pointer to push the UF lead to 13-9 with 13:38 to play before half.
James cut the deficit to one, but that would be as close as MSU would get before intermission.
Florida gained its largest lead of the half at 38-24 with 1:47 to play, but Dillingham nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to trim the lead to eight before a Christin Mercer layup with one second left gave UF the 10-point halftime advantage.
A Savannah Carter 3-pointer to open the second half cut the deficit to seven, but that would be as close as the Bulldogs would be able to get in the contest.
The Bulldogs shot 34.3 percent for the contest, while Florida hit 29-of-62 for 46.8 percent. The Gators claimed a 47-43 advantage on the boards. Mississippi State hauled in 24 offensive rebounds in the contest.
State made a season-high six 3-pointers but struggled at the line, hitting 18-of-28 for 64.3 percent.
(From MSU Media Relations)