Prior to this cross-division rivalry game, it seemed like Marshall Henderson would be the deciding factor as to which team would win and which team would lose. In the first half, that became clear, after Henderson scored over half of the Rebels’s points.
But No. 2 Florida shut the senior down in the second half, leading to a 75-71 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford and a 14-0 Southeastern Conference record for the Gators.
Henderson started out strong for Ole Miss (16-11, 7-7 SEC), scoring 22 points in the first 20 minutes and going 5 for 11 from beyond the three-point arc. Florida (25-2, 14-0 SEC) could not find an answer for him and headed into the locker room with the score tied at 42 all.
But something clicked for the Gators defensively at halftime, and Henderson’s fire went out. He was held scoreless and missed all six of his shot attempts.
The score was tied again at 59 with eight minutes remaining in the game, but Florida took the lead, which it would not relinquish, off a Scottie Wilbekin steal and Patric Young dunk.
The Gators did well with their usual Achilles heel of free throws. They went 15 for 19, which adds up to 78.9 percent.
With this win, Florida will most likely leapfrog top-ranked Syracuse into the No. 1 spot after the Orange were upset by Boston College on Wednesday.
Additionally, Florida keeps all of its video game numbers-records, including overall winning streak (19 games), SEC away game winning streak (7 games) and SEC game winning streak (14 games).
Wilbekin led Florida with 18 points and seven assists, while Michael Frazier II followed with 17 points. Jarvis Summers was second in scoring for Ole Miss with 20 points.
Florida will next head to Nashville to face Vanderbilt (14-11, 6-7 SEC). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Tags: Florida Gators