Florida gets clutch stops to down Ole Miss
by David Jones, USA TODAY Sports
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Fourth-ranked Florida shut down Mississippi, the nation’s fifth-leading offense, at several clutch moments and proved that five is better than one when it comes to scoring.
The Gators had four players score in double figures — the Rebels’ Southeastern Conference-leading scorer Marshall Henderson totaled 25 points — as Florida ran its winning streak to 10 games with a 78-64 win Saturday night.
It’s the Gators’ longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season.
Henderson, like teammates, vanished at clutch moments when the 16th-ranked Rebels (17-4, 6-2 SEC) needed points the most. Ole Miss shot just 38.2% from the field.
Mike Rosario gave Florida (18-2, 8-0) a 45-28 lead early in the second half, but Ole Miss cut into the deficit several times — getting to within 45-33 on the fifth three-pointer of the game by Henderson, who came into the contest with a 19.3 scoring average.
But Florida responded with a 15-4 run to blow the lead back out to 60-39 with 12:36 to play. Gators guard Kenny Boynton, who set a career record with 10 assists, ended the run with a layup and two free throws.
Patric Young started the rally with a layup and free throw — Florida’s first points in the paint in a stretch of almost 10 minutes started with just under six minutes left in the first half. Erik Murphy, Florida’s leading scorer with 19 points, also had a big three-pointer during that stretch.
Defense again played a huge role in putting away the game. The Rebels had just five field goals in the first 10-plus minutes of the second half as the Gators made their winning run. Murphy Holloway, the second-leading scorer in the Ole Miss lineup with a 14.5-point average, didn’t get his second field goal of the game until after Florida took its huge lead.
Henderson also had a stretch from 17:50 to the 3:43 mark in the second half in which he went without a field goal as the Gators pulled away.
Holloway scored eight consecutive points to get the Rebels to within 60-45. Jarvis Summers had a four-point play and the margin was 63-49 at … [For more on No. 4 Florida gets clutch stops to down No. 16 Ole Miss, click here.]