Florida men’s basketball team holds on to beat Mississippi State, 61-59

UF survives after three SEC defeats by a combined eight points
Florida guard Will Richard (5) tries to put up a shot around Auburn forward Johni Broome (4)...
Florida guard Will Richard (5) tries to put up a shot around Auburn forward Johni Broome (4) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 11:03 PM EST
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCJB)-The Gator men’s basketball team shook its trend of getting off to poor starts, and used an 11-0 run early in the first half to grab the edge in Saturday’s 61-59 win over Mississippi State. Florida (11-8 overall, 4-3 SEC) won for the second time on the road in conference play. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-6 in league play, 12-7 overall.

Florida led by as many as 16 points in the first half and denied a Bulldogs’ game-tying shot attempt in the final seconds. Colin Castleton led Florida with 13 points and Will Richard added 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from outside the arc. The major difference in the game was the three-point line, where the Gators outscored the Bulldogs, 30-12.

Florida also had 16 assists as a team compared to just eight turnovers. The tight win was encouraging as the Gators’ three SEC losses have come by a combined eight points.

The Gators return home to face South Carolina on Wednesday. The Gamecocks lost at home to Auburn on Satuday, 81-66 to fall to 1-5 in the SEC.

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