Roshunda Johnson scored 22 points, Teaira McCowan notched her 17th double-double of the season and No. 2 Mississippi State stayed undefeated with a 98-50 win at Florida on Thursday night.
The Bulldogs (25-0, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) never trailed, hitting three 3-pointers to open the game and doubling up Florida on the scoreboard by the end of the third quarter.
Victoria Vivians added 17 points for Mississippi State, and Morgan William chipped in with 15. McCowan finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, reaching double figures in both categories for the 13th time in the last 17 games.
It was the latest dominating performance for the Bulldogs, who were coming off a 14-point win against South Carolina in a rematch of last year’s national championship game. The Bulldogs lost the title game and look more than capable of getting another shot with a veteran team.
Florida (10-14, 2-9) is clearly a long ways away. The Gators kept it close early, but faded late in the second quarter. Mississippi State used a staggering 34-5 run to turn a three-point game into a laugher.
The Bulldogs did whatever they wanted during the spurt, getting easy baskets off turnovers and finding players wide open for 3s. They hit 10 of 20 from behind the arc.
Funda Nakkasoglu led the Gators with 17 points, but also had six of the team’s 23 turnovers.
Florida plays at No. 7 South Carolina on Sunday.
Gators voted preseason SEC favorites
Well, that wasn’t too hard. The league baseball coaches voted Florida, ranked preseason No. 1 in various polls after winning the national title last year, as favorites to win the 2018 Southeastern Conference title.
The league’s 14 coaches voted in the 27th preseason SEC poll released Thursday, and Florida is the favorite to win the regular season title with 12 of the 14 votes.
In addition, a league-high three Gators were voted to the Preseason All-SEC First Team. No other school had more than one first-team selection.
Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, entering his 11th season, leads the Gators into 2018 with a squad that returns 17 letter winners, five position starters and two of three weekend starters from last season’s NCAA Championship team.
Juniors Michael Byrne, Jonathan India and Brady Singer were selected to the Preseason All-SEC First Team. Senior JJ Schwarz was selected as the Second Team catcher and DH/utility player.
In addition to picking a preseason SEC champion, the league’s head coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC’s Eastern and Western Divisions. In the East, the Gators were the favorite with 91 points and 13 first-place votes.
Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.