No. 4 Gators take down No. 16 Rebels

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 02, 2013
Erik Murphy scored 19 points and was instrumental on the defensive end, helping No. 4 Florida beat 16th-ranked Mississippi 78-64 Saturday night. Murphy made 7 of 8 shots, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, and added six rebounds and four assists. Defensively, he took a charge, had a block and altered several shots in the paint. Pat Young added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Gators, who won their 10th consecutive game. Mike Rosario (14 points) and Scottie Wilbekin (13) also reached double figures. Kenny Boynton had nine points and 10 assists, just shy of his first double-double. Marshall Henderson, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer, led the Rebels (17-4, 6-2) with 25 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Henderson was 7 of 11 from behind the arc, hitting several shots with defenders in his face. The Gators (18-2, 8-0) won their first seven conference games by an average of 28.3 points, and this one looked as though it would be another rout -- but Ole Miss kept rallying from 20-point deficits. Marshall had a lot to do with it. Even though Wilbekin and Boynton guarded him tight most of the night, he found ways to get off shots. Florida led 35-15 with about six minutes to go in the first half, but Henderson drained consecutive 3s that capped a 10-0 run for the Rebels. With the Gators up 60-39 in the second half, Murphy Holloway drove the lane to start a 13-3 run. Henderson also scored in the spurt. Still, there was little the Rebels could do to slow down Florida, which shot 51.6 percent from the field, including 11 of 29 from 3-point range. The Gators also had 23 assists on 32 baskets. The Rebels shot 38.2 percent, were 7 of 17 from behind the arc and finished with five assists and 13 turnovers. Ole Miss came in looking for its first win over a top-five team since knocking off the fifth-ranked Gators in the 2001 SEC tournament. Instead, they lost consecutive games for the first time this season. Holloway finished with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Rebels, who had no other players reach double figures. Florida has its highest ranking in nearly six years and likely will move up in the AP poll next week. Defense has been the key to the team's success, though it's also coming against a watered-down league. Ole Miss came in as the SEC's top-scoring team, averaging 80 points. The Rebels had 39 with 11:51 remaining in the game.
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