The Florida Gators defeated Mississippi State Saturday afternoon, 69-62. After starting the second half down two points, Vernon Macklin took over, scoring the next ten Gator points, finishing with 20 and six rebounds. It was probably Macklin's best game as a Gator.
Macklin was also active on defense. While Miss State's Jarvis Varnado got 16 points, it was on 6-16 shooting, as Macklin did a very good job of harassing Varnado into poor shots. Varnado could have made the difference for the Bulldogs (16-7, 4-4 SEC), but he got no help outside of guards Ravern Johnson (20pts) and Barry Stewart (12pts). The rest of State scored a combined 14 points.
The Gators (17-6, 6-3) once again outrebounded their opponents, as they have done in all of their SEC victories. Chandler Parsons again showed he is the most reliable player for the Gators, pulling a double-double (18pts, 12reb, 6ast). Macklin and Parsons were desperately needed as Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Alex Tyus shot a combined 7-35 from the field. The 10 bench points were a huge help and might have provided the difference. Both teams looked fatigued, especially near the end of each half.
Florida's next game is Wednesday at South Carolina.