Florida was the better team on Saturday night against Mississippi State.
And the better team won. By a lot.
Florida's 72-47 win was really never in doubt: The Gators never trailed, sprinting to an 11-4 lead by the first TV timeout, and led by 10 points from the 14:16 mark of the first half to triple zeroes at game's end.
Eli Carter led all scorers with 20 points on just eight shots off the Florida bench, and Dorian Finney-Smith added 16 (on 11 shots) and six rebounds. Kasey Hill had seven points and seven assists, and helped Florida force 15 Mississippi State turnovers; the Gators converted those turnovers into 26 points, and held the Bulldogs under 40 percent shooting from the field, in a lockdown performance.
It was such an easy, breezy win that there was really only one thing to worry about: Chris Walker picking up an injury to his left leg that forced him to limp off the court and pass up two free throws with just under two minutes to play. If Walker is seriously hurt — especially with Jon Horford still in proximity of Billy Donovan's doghouse — the Gators could find their next few games significantly more difficult than this one.
With the win, Florida's lengthy SEC winning streaks — 23 straight wins against SEC teams, 20 consecutive regular season SEC wins, and 19 consecutive SEC wins at home — are all still intact one week into the conference schedule.