Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

No. 8 Florida routs Mississippi State 82-47

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Florida already has a reputation as one of the nation's premier defensive teams.

The Gators offense doesn't look too bad these days, either.

Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy had 18 points each, and No. 8 Florida poured in a season-high 14 3-pointers in an easy 82-47 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday night.

Boynton said the reason for Florida's shooting success wasn't a fancy scheme. It was simply good decision-making.

"We took open shots," Boynton said. "Patric Young did a great job finding us when they doubled him on the post. He found shooters, and we did a good job knocking them down."

Scottie Wilbekin and Young had 13 points each for the Gators (16-2, 6-0 SEC), who have won eight straight games. They were never challenged in this one, bolting out to a 20-6 lead in less than eight minutes and a 41-19 advantage by halftime.

Boynton and Murphy led the Gators with four 3-pointers each. Boynton made 7 of 11 shots from the field and 4 of 8 3-pointers.

The Gators are known as an elite defensive team, giving up an average of about 51 points per game. But their offense was just as efficient against the Bulldogs. Florida made 31 of 56 shots (55.4 percent) from the field and 14 of 31 3s (45.2 percent).

Murphy made 6 of 8 shots, including 4 of 6 3-pointers, and Young made all six shots and had four offensive rebounds. Florida had 23 assists on 31 field goals.

"I thought we were really unselfish," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We moved and passed the basketball, and really got good looks throughout the course of the game."

Fred Thomas led Mississippi State (7-11, 2-4) with 19 points. The Bulldogs have lost four straight games.

"I think Florida is by far the best team in the SEC, and I'd venture to say they're probably playing better than anyone else in the nation at this point in time," Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said.

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