Mississippi State upends Gators in SEC clashJan 29, 2011 - 10:55 PM Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - Kodi Augustus made clutch free throws in the final two-plus minutes and came up with a big block in the closing seconds, helping Mississippi State pull out a 71-64 decision over 24th-ranked Florida.
Dee Bost scored a game-high 24 points while Augustus and Renardo Sidney each netted 16 for the Bulldogs (11-9, 3-3 SEC), who snapped a two-game slide.
"This game will help us build up momentum for our next few games," Best said. "We just want to keep playing hard and winning."
Neither team made a field goal in the final four minutes of a tightly-played game, and Augustus' free throw gave the hosts the lead for good, 65-64, with 2:06 remaining.
In the midst of the Gators missing their final eight shots from the floor and three attempts from the foul line, Augustus and Bost each added two more from the stripe, the latter's resulting in a 69-64 lead with 21 seconds on the clock.
Erving Walker, who finished with 18 points, couldn't pull Florida closer, as his driving layup was pinned to the backboard by Augustus with 16 seconds left to essentially seal the outcome.
Florida (16-5, 5-2) came in riding a three-game win streak and was a perfect 5-0 in true road games.
The Gators gutted out a double overtime win at Georgia on Tuesday but couldn't secure another close one thanks to a porous 9-of-19 effort from the foul line.
"Free throws were definitely a big part of the game," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "The game really was the free throw line for us."
The hosts never trailed in the first half and held a slim 40-38 edge at intermission.
Florida took its first lead, 53-52, on Walker's three-pointer seven minutes into the second half, and it stayed tight from there.
Bost was 4-of-8 from three-point range...Chandler Parsons had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with nine points for Florida, which won the battle on the glass, 43-37...Ravern Johnson netted 15 points for the Bulldogs, whose bench was held scoreless.
- FLORIDA: 64
MISSISSIPPI STATE: 71
Jan 29 3:06 PM
- FLORIDA: 38
MISSISSIPPI STATE: 40
Jan 29 1:51 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
MISSISSIPPI STATE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 29 1:06 PM
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- Florida guard Walker plans to transfer after graduation Mar 28
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- Florida C Egbunu tears thumb ligament before SEC Tournament Mar 9
- Florida trying to rebuild NCAA resume at SEC Tournament Mar 7
- February freefall leaves Florida in need of Kentucky win Feb 29
- Weatherspoon leading Mississippi State's resurgence Feb 23
- With road stretch looming, Florida needs to win at home Feb 8