Gators pull away from Bulldogs for 12th straight win
Starkville, MS (SportsNetwork.com) - Casey Prather had 16 points and seven rebounds in the third-ranked Florida Gators' 62-51 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Thursday.
Patric Young added 12 points, eight boards and three blocks for the Gators (18-2, 7-0 SEC), who have won 12 in a row since a loss at Connecticut on Dec. 2.
Colin Borchert ended with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs (13-7, 3-4), who have dropped two straight for the first time this season. Craig Sword and I.J. Ready tallied 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Trailing 16-15 midway through the first half, the Gators went on a 12-2 run. Scottie Wilbekin tallied six points during the surge that Jacob Kurtz capped with a free throw for a 9-point lead.
Mississippi State scored the final eight points of the half to get within 27-26.
Florida was able to take control early in the second half. Trailing 30-29, the Gators put together an 18-4 run. Young scored eight points during the spurt that Michael Frazier II capped with a 3-pointer for a 47-34 edge with 10:18 to play.
"When he's open, I want him shooting," Florida coach Billy Donovan said of Frazier.
The Bulldogs never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
"In the first half, we did a really great job of competing," Mississippi State coach Rick Ray said. "We ended the half with six consecutive stops. In the second half, they shot 56 percent and we gave up too many timely rebounds."
Florida has won four straight against Mississippi State and now holds a 61-49 edge in the all-time series ... The Gators went 8-of-19 from the foul line, while the Bulldogs went 1-of-6 ... Florida freshman Chris Walker is expected to make his college debut on Feb. 4 against Missouri after being cleared by the NCAA.
01/30 22:58:13 ET