Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Late surge carries No. 14 Florida Gators to 69-57 win over No. 17 Mississippi State Bulldogs

Florida’s Erik Murphy, left, and Kenny Boynton pressure Mississippi State’s Dee Bost during the first half. Murphy’s 14 points helped compensate for Boynton’s two.

Associated Press

Florida’s Erik Murphy, left, and Kenny Boynton pressure Mississippi State’s Dee Bost during the first half. Murphy’s 14 points helped compensate for Boynton’s two.

GAINESVILLE — As he prepared to face Florida on Saturday, Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury knew he had to account for Florida guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker. And he was well aware of the inside challenge of center Patric Young.

But by the end of Saturday afternoon's game, it was junior forward Erik Murphy who had Stansbury raving.

Murphy was 4-of-7 from 3-point range (14 points), including key shots at critical times in the game, as No. 14 Florida put together a strong late run to defeat No. 17 Mississippi State 69-57 in front of 12,045 at the O'Connell Center.

Murphy has scored in double figures in nine of his past 12 games.

"The difference, and I told (Florida coach) Billy (Donovan) this after the game: Everybody knows Walker and Boynton, and I think we did as good a job as you can do on them," Stansbury said.

"But the guy to me that's the difference in their basketball team is Murphy. He's the one guy that's difficult to defend. He stretches you out. He's that fourth guy out there who can really shoot the basketball. He stepped up there (Saturday) in huge situations and made shots for them."

Florida (17-4, 5-1 SEC) led by seven late in the first half, but the Bulldogs (17-5, 4-3) pulled to within 30-27 at halftime. Leading by two, Florida outscored Mississippi State 7-1, led by Young, whose monster dunk off a rebound ignited the crowd and the Gators.

Young struggled in the first half against Bulldogs 6-foot-10, 285-pound center Renardo Sidney, but his adjustments in the second half were critical for the Gators.

"The ball was right there, and I just threw it down (for the key dunk)," said Young, who scored 10 of his 12 in the second half. "I just got really excited when I threw that down. I've been waiting for a tip-dunk all year, and there it is."

The Gators led 51-44 with 8:17 remaining, then went on an 11-0 run to seal the win. Mississippi State went 4:37 without a field goal down the stretch.

Boynton was held to two points, only the second time this season he finished in single digits, and Walker added 10 on 4 of 10 shooting. But the two combined for nine assists and zero turnovers. Florida freshman Bradley Beal scored a game-high 19.

"I was really proud of Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton," Donovan said. "Collectively, all of them did a lot of different things to affect the outcome of the game."

Florida was outrebounded by the Bulldogs 34-26 but forced Mississippi State into 14 turnovers (to Florida's five) and outscored it 28-14 in the paint.

"Like I told my guys, let's give Florida some credit," Stansbury said. "They had a lot to do with why we weren't at our best."

Antonya English can be reached at

14 UF 69

17 MSU 57

Late surge carries No. 14 Florida Gators to 69-57 win over No. 17 Mississippi State Bulldogs 01/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 11:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  2. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005


    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  3. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge


    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  4. Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Lucas Duda in the sixth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field on Friday.
  5. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz celebrates his Trop-record 482-foot home run in the ninth inning.