It wasn’t the prettiest showing Florida could have hoped for after a humbling loss to Kentucky on Saturday, but the Gators got it done against Ole Miss by making shots when it mattered.
Florida defeated the Rebels 77-72 Tuesday night in the O’Connell Center, with five players scoring in double figures. In doing so, the Gators swept the two-game regular-season series against Ole Miss.
Turnovers, sloppy plays and the typical missed shots hindered Florida’s production on offense, but the Gators made up for it with offensive rebounds, hustle in the paint and timely scoring.
Dorian Finney-Smith led Florida (16-8, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) with 16 points and six rebounds. John Egbunu registered his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and KeVaughn Allen scored 15 points.
But the most pleasant surprise for the Gators was the play of Devin Robinson.
The sophomore contributed 15 points, five rebounds and one block off the bench. Robinson shot 5-of-7 from the field including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc and four of his five rebounds came on the offensive glass. Robinson drew a career-high three charges.
"I thought it was the best game of his Gator career," Florida coach Mike White said. "Best day that Devin’s had while I’ve coached him, for sure."
Ole Miss (15-9, 5-6 SEC) scored 28 points off of 16 Florida turnovers, but a lack of balanced scoring hurt the Rebels down the stretch. Tomasz Gielo led Ole Miss with 20 points off the bench along with eight rebounds.
Stefan Moody, the SEC’s leading scorer, scored 19 points and dished out two assists but struggled with fouls and turnovers all night. Moody picked up three personal fouls in the first half and fouled out of the game with 1:08 left, and his eight turnovers were half of Ole Miss’ 16.
As a whole, the Rebels shot just 43.1 percent from the field and 42.1 percent (8-of-19) from three-point range.
Florida out-rebounded Ole Miss on the offensive glass 10-8 and blocked five shots to the Rebels’ zero.
That extra effort, despite shooting 34.8 percent from beyond the arc, gave the Gators the edge. White has been looking for increased effort after a lackluster performance against Kentucky. It wasn’t as good as it has been this season, it was enough got the job done on Tuesday.
"It was a big game. You know we dropped an egg last game to Kentucky, and we just needed to get back on that roll that we had," Robinson said. "So this was a big game for us."