GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – A 16-point night from Quinndary Weatherspoon and a double-double from Abdul Ado was not enough as Mississippi State dropped a 71-54 decision to Florida Tuesday night at the Exactech Arena.
Florida improved to 12-4 overall and 4-0 in conference play with a sixth-straight win. MSU dropped to 13-3 and 1-2, while losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. MSU has now lost eight straight in this series.
Ado finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds on a 6 of 8 night from the field. It was Ado’s second double-double and his first double digit scoring performance in a conference game.
“Offensively, we are really struggling,” MSU coach Ben Howland said. “We have had good looks. We played well inside-out. We just have to knock down some shots. We lost Aric (Holman) early. Three of his five fouls were offensive. He only played 16 minutes. We have to have more than that.
“We just had too many offensive fouls. Credit to Florida because they were really attacking the basket.”
MSU quickly built a 7-2 lead on a Quinndary Weatherspoon 3-pointer about four minutes in. Florida followed with the game’s next eight points. However, the game remained tight throughout the first half.
The Bulldogs were within one at 17-16 after a putback by Holman. Florida ran the lead to 10 twice before a 6-0 MSU run brought the Bulldogs back within 30-26.
Florida led 33-28 at halftime.
In the second half, tbe Bulldogs closed within three at 38-35. However, a six-minute draught without a field goal soon followed. Florida hit back-to-back 3-pointers to run the lead to 12. An 8-0 run pushed the lead to 23 at 65-42 with 4:25 left.
For the contest, MSU hit 22 of 55 shots from the field (40.0 percent), 5 of 16 shots from 3-point range (31.3 percent) and 5 of 7 shots from the foul line (71.4 percent). Florida hit 25 of 58 shots from the field (43.1 percent), 9 of 23 shots from 3-point range (39.1 percent) and 12 of 16 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent).
Florida held a 38-31 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and 16 turnovers, while the Gators had 13 assists and 15 turnovers.
Florida received 23 points from Egor Koulechov, 12 points from Jalen Hudson and 10 points each from Keith Stone and Chris Chiozza. Stone had a team-high eight rebounds for the Gators.
MSU welcomes No. 22 Auburn to the Humphrey Coliseum on Saturday. The Bulldogs and Tigers tip at 2:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.
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