Rapid Reaction: Florida 78, Ole Miss 64
February, 2, 2013
By Michael DiRocco | ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A quick look at No. 4 Florida’s 78-64 victory over No. 16 Ole Miss on Saturday night at the O’Connell Center:
Overview: This one wasn’t as easy as the previous seven Southeastern Conference games, but the Gators still managed another double-digit victory.
Erik Murphy scored 19 points -- thanks to a 5-for-6 performance from 3-point range -- and grabbed six rebounds. Patric Young had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds) and Mike Rosario had 14 points.
Ole Miss (17-4, 6-2 SEC) scored the most points on Florida (18-2, 8-0 SEC) since the Gators gave up 67 to Kansas State on Dec. 22. No team had scored more 61 since then. Marshall Henderson led Ole Miss with 25 points.
Turning point: Ole Miss cut Florida’s lead to 13 points with seven minutes remaining, but Murphy responded with a solid two-minute stretch on both ends of the floor that put the game out of reach.
Murphy hit a 3-pointer to put UF ahead 66-50 and then blocked Murphy Holloway’s shot. After a Young basket, Murphy grabbed a defensive rebound. The Gators turned the ball over, but Murphy made up for that by forcing another turnover that led to Scottie Wilbekin’s basket to put UF ahead 70-50 with five minutes to play.
Key player: Florida guard Kenny Boynton didn’t shoot the ball well (3-for-13), but he did a good job of sharing and taking care of it. Boynton had a career-high 10 assists while turning the ball over just twice. That gives him 17 assists and two turnovers in his past two games.
Entering the game, Boynton had compiled 25 assists and had turned the ball over only four times in SEC play.
Key stat: The biggest difference in how the teams played showed up in the assist totals. The Gators had 23 assists on 32 baskets while the Rebels had just five assists on 21 baskets. Florida entered the game averaging 17 assists per game in SEC play. Ole Miss was averaging 11.5.
Miscellaneous: Florida has won 10 games in a row, the school’s longest streak since winning 10 in a row in the 2008-09 season … The Rebels haven’t beaten a top-five team since beating Florida in the 2001 SEC tournament … Florida’s 14-point victory was its closest in SEC play. The Gators had won their previous seven SEC games by 28.3 points, and the closest victory was 17 points over Georgia on Jan. 23.
Next game: Florida plays at Arkansas on Tuesday; Ole Miss plays host to Mississippi State on Wednesday.