January 11, 2018 / 2:22 AM / 9 months ago

Gators dump Mississippi State, stay atop SEC

Egor Koulechov scored 23 points as Southeastern Conference-leading Florida stayed unbeaten in league play with a 71-54 victory against Mississippi State on Wednesday night at Exactech Arena in Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators (12-4, 4-0 SEC) beat the Bulldogs (13-3, 1-2) for the eighth consecutive time. Florida visits Ole Miss on Saturday while Mississippi State, which lost its second consecutive game after a five-game winning streak, hosts Auburn.

Quindarry Weatherspoon scored 16 points, making 4 of 8 3-point attempts, to lead the Bulldogs, who didn’t have a double-figure scorer in a 64-58 loss at Ole Miss last Saturday. The rest of the Bulldogs made a combined 1 of 8 3-point tries Wednesday. Abdul Ado had 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Aric Holman, Mississippi State’s second-leading scorer with an average of 12.2 points, fouled out with 13:19 left in the game after scoring seven points.

Jalen Hudson scored 12 for the Gators, Keith Stone scored 10 and Chris Chiozza came off the bench to add 10. Florida made 9 of 23 3-point attempts, with Koulechov making 4 of 5.

Chiozza sank back-to-back 3-pointers, converting a four-point play after being fouled on the second one, as Florida extended its five-point halftime lead to 45-35 early in the second half.

Hudson and Kevaughn Allen scored three points each as Florida increased the lead to 52-38 midway through the second half.

After a basket by Weatherspoon, Koulechov scored five consecutive points as the Gators built the advantage to 65-42.

Koulechov scored Florida’s first 13 points, making 5 of 6 field-goal attempts, including all three of his 3-point attempts.

Gorjok Gak finally gave him some support with a layup that gave the Gators a 15-12 lead midway through the first half.

E.J. Datcher became the fifth Bulldog to score when he made a jumper to make it 15-14.

Florida twice led by 10 points in the first half before going into halftime with a 33-28 lead after Koulechov scored 17.

—Field Level Media

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