Instant Analysis: Another double-digit lead blown

Jan 29, 2020 | 0 comments

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In what is becoming a growing trend, it was a tale of two halves for the Florida Gators (12-8, 4-3) Tuesday night as they let victory escape from their hands. After a near-perfect first half that had them up 10-points at the half, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-7, 4-3) stormed back in the second to escape Gainesville with the 78-71 win.

After being faced with a double-digit deficit, the Bulldogs outscored the Gators 43-26 in the second half.

Here is our Instant Analysis:

What Went Wrong: The second half in this one doomed the Gators in their quest for victory. After leading by double-digits, Florida couldn’t buy a bucket in the early goings of the second half.

The Gators would find themselves stuck in a four-minute scoring drought which would allow the Bulldogs to get back in the game. They did that and then some, as they came back to take the lead during the Gators drought and would eventually go on to run away with the game.

He Stole The Show: Reggie Perry was more than a handful for the Gators defense tonight. The Bulldogs big man served large, scoring 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Robert Woodard also added 16 points for Mississippi State on 6-of-7 shooting.

Back in the starting lineup, it was a career night for Florida freshman Scottie Lewis. After scoring the first seven of the Gators points, Lewis led the team with 17 points, shooting 60% from the field.

These Numbers Don’t Lie: After shooting the lights out in the first, it was a cold, cold showing the second for the Gators. They shot 58% in the first, just to follow it up with going 31% in the second.

After going 8-for-14 from beyond the arc in the first, Florida went 0-for-7 in the second. The offense got them up early in this one, but cost them in the end after a freezing-cold final 20-minutes.

The Bottom Line: At this point in the season, there is really no way around it. This Florida team gets way (emphasis on the ‘way’) too comfortable in games of which they get ahead. With six-minutes to go in the first, Florida has a 16-point lead, which eventually amounted to nothing.

Florida played a great first half to give themselves a comfortable cushion, but they did just that. Got too comfortable. The Bulldogs scratched and clawed their way back into the game and they deserve credit in completing the comeback. But when you create the lead the Gators did, on your home court no less, there’s no way this is a game you should lose.

Up Next: Another month on the college basketball calendar has come and gone. The next time the Gators take the court will be in February, as March is officially looming. Florida will travel to Knoxville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores on Feb. 1. Tip is set for 8:30 p.m., with coverage on the SEC Network.






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