By David Brandt/The Associated Press
STARKVILLE — Dee Bost scored 24 points, Kodi Augustus and Renardo Sidney each added 16, and Mississippi State beat No. 24 Florida 71-64 Saturday.
The Bulldogs (11-9, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) have won four of the last five against the Gators. Bost made 8 of 14 shots from the field, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. He also added five assists and three rebounds.
Only four Mississippi State players scored, but all of them finished in double figures. Ravern Johnson scored 15 points, including 13 in the first half, as the Bulldogs beat a ranked team for the first time this season.
The Bulldogs won despite being outrebounded 43-37 and giving up 17 offensive rebounds.
Florida (16-5, 5-2) trailed 51-42 early in the second half, but went on a 13-1 run to take a 55-52 lead. The game was tight from there, with five lead changes. But the Bulldogs pushed ahead in the final minute, making 6 of 6 free throws to seal the victory.
Florida came into the game with the SEC’s best conference record, but was hurt by a 9-of-19 performance (47.4 percent) at the free-throw line, including several crucial misses in the final minutes. Vernon Macklin made a free throw to tie the game at 64 with 3:32 remaining, but the Gators were held scoreless from that point.
Erving Walker led the Gators with 18 points, making 6 of 17 shots from the field. Macklin added 10 points and six rebounds.
Florida dominated in the paint, outscoring Mississippi State 38-16 and also held a 17-0 advantage in bench scoring.
Ten different Gators scored at least two points, but combined, they shot just 25 of 63 (39.7 percent) from the field.
Chandler Parsons added nine points and 10 rebounds.
Mississippi State had a 40-38 advantage at halftime after leading by as many as 10 in the first half.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.