Beyond the arc: 3 takeaways from UF’s 72-47 win over Mississippi State

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Some observations following UF’s 72-47 win over Mississippi State at the O’Connell Center:

— For as unselfish as the Gators were offensively against Mississippi State (19 assists, 7 turnovers), the Gators were equally impressive on the defensive end of the floor. Florida held the Bulldogs to just 38.6 percent from the floor and scored 26 points off turnovers. “We’ve been focusing on defending as a team for the whole shot clock,” Florida junior guard Eli Carter said. “In other games, we’ve been defending pretty well but we’ve been giving up offensive rebounds at the end of the shot clock. We’ve just been trying to push through.”

— Florida junior forward Alex Murphy did some nice things off the bench, finishing with 7 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in 13 minutes. Murphy took a shot to the face in the first half after finishing inside against Mississippi State’s zone and made a nice athletic finish in transition off a half-court pass from Kasey Hill. But Murphy also needs to focus in better at the free-throw line. Murphy was just 1 of 3 from the free-throw line against Mississippi State and has made just 2 of his last 8 attempts.

— Sophomore center Chris Walker had cramping issues on and off during the Mississippi State game, finishing with 2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocked shots in 22 minutes. But Donovan said he thinks Walker has done a better job fighting through fatigue of late. “He’s getting better at it and he’s trying harder at it,” Donovan said. “He played 16 minutes in the first half against South Carolina, that’s more minutes than he averages (per game). It’s getting better.”