OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Daeshun Ruffin scored 21 points, Matthew Murrell added 20 points and Mississippi defeated Florida 70-54 on Monday night.
Mississippi turned back a late Florida run, scoring 15 points in the final four minutes. The Rebels had taken command of the game with a 19-9 run to build a 51-41 lead midway through the second half.
The lead reached 55-43 before Florida put together a brief run when Tyree Appleby hit a 3-pointer and Anthony Duruji added a pair of free throws. The Rebels responded with their late scoring run in which Ruffin and Murrell combined for eight of the 15 points.
Ruffin's 21 points were the season high for the freshman. He made 9 of 10 free throws and added six assists and four steals. Murrell made 8 of 12 shots, including 3 of 6 3-pointers.
Nysier Brooks had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Rebels (10-9, 2-5 SEC). Luis Rodriguez added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Jason Jitoboh led Florida (12-7, 3-4) with 12 points. Appleby and Duruji scored 11 each. The Gators had won three in a row after opening the conference season with three losses to ranked teams — Alabama, LSU and now-No. 1 Auburn.
Murrell made three of Mississippi's four total 3-pointers and Appleby made three of Florida's four total 3-pointers. The Rebels were 4-for-13 from distance; the Gators made 4 of 29.
Florida led 19-12 midway through the first half before Mississippi closed with a 10-3 run, tying the game at 22 heading to the intermission.
Both teams are in the middle of playing three games in five days. Florida plays at Tennessee on Wednesday and Mississippi has a home game against Arkansas. Monday's game was originally scheduled for Dec. 29 but was rescheduled due to COVID protocols within the Florida program.
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