MSU defeats Florida, 79-68

MSU 79, Florida 68. MSU 79, Florida 68? MSU 79, Florida 68!!!!<P> Many doubted these 'Dogs were for real. Not any more. Just ask LSU and 17th ranked Florida, both double digit victims of a Bulldog team gone mad.<P> After losing a one-point heartbreaker to Kentucky before a sold out Humphrey Coliseum crowd last Tuesday night, the Mississippi State Bulldogs decided it was time to be the heartbreaker instead of the one getting their hearts broken.

Even after their big win over LSU in Baton Rouge this past Saturday very few of the so-called experts expected the Bulldogs to come into Gainesville and make a game of it, much less win, but somebody forgot to tell Rick Stansbury - fast becoming the leading candidate for SEC Coach of the Year honors - and his team of Maroon warriors.

Mississippi State quickly showed they weren't going to be intimidated, by going toe to toe with the Gators for the first 12 minutes of the game. Then, to the disbelief of the Florida crowd, the unthinkable happened, State started pulling way at the 8:23 mark.

And it all started, most appropriately, with a rebound by the lead Dog himself, Lawrence Roberts.

After the rebound, Power, thanks to an assist from Roberts, made a three-pointer to put State up by four, 24-20.

Over the course of the next five minutes, Roberts carried the team on his shoulders, scoring 8 of their 14 points to put the Dogs up by 10, 38-28, with 2:43 left to play on the first half clock.

With both teams scoring back and forth the rest of the half, the Bulldogs went into halftime with a 44-35 lead to the disbelief of the Florida crowd of 12,341.

Even though the Bulldogs were basically playing 6 men to the Gators 10, they began the second half like the first half by outscoring the Gators 16 to 5 in the first 4:30 minutes to take a 60-40 lead. Winsome Frazier and Shane Power lead the way with 5 points each.

The Gators cut the lead by a few points but the Bulldogs roared back with a 6-0 run to pull out to their biggest lead of the game, 70-48, with 6:53 left to play.

Never letting up, despite obvious fatigue, the Bulldogs kept the Gators at bay for the final 6+ minutes of the game to hang on to win by the final eleven-point margin, 79-68.

Four Bulldogs scored in double figures for Mississippi State (15-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference), which won its third SEC road game with no defeats. Lawrence Roberts lead the way with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Frazier followed with 17, Power with 15 and Timmy Bowers contributed 13.

Roberts, Power and Bowers all played 38 or more minutes in the game.

The Gators (11-4, 2-2) were lead by Anthony Roberson's 20. Matt Walsh contributed 17 and David Lee 11.

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Gators 39 to 31. The Gators wound up shooting just 38.7% from the floor, while the Bulldogs shot 51.9%.

Next up for the Bulldogs is a home date with the Georgia Bulldogs this Saturday at noon before an expected hard sellout crowd.

The Gators, suffering their first home loss to an SEC West team since 1999, will return to action against the Auburn Tigers Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is You can contact him by emailing

Gene's Page Top Stories