Winning on the road in conference play is never easy, and winning when you shoot 8-for-19 (!!) from the free throw anywhere is never easy, but the Florida Gators overcame both obstacles in disposing of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 60-51.
The 3rd-ranked Gators struggled mightily on the offensive end at times, but they used their talent edge to generate enough opportunities and took care of the ball at a very solid rate (only 9 turnovers) in order to grab the win. Stud forward Casey Prather led the way with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting, while big man Patric Young cleaned the glass with 8 rebounds and added 12 points.
Mississippi State was a worthy opponent despite the pre-game projections (the Bulldogs were a 12.5-point underdog even at home), but in the end, they simply couldn’t produce consistent offense against the more athletic Gators. The loss drops MSU to just 13-7 on the year, but even in defeat, this was one of their better efforts of the season.,
Florida’s on-court showing didn’t exactly reek of a top-5 team in the country on Thursday night, but frankly, that is irrelevant. “Style points” fly out the window at times in conference play, and every additional win pushes Florida further away from the rest of the pack, even in a major conference like the SEC.