Dancin' Dogs? Mississippi State outlasts Florida in overtime to advance
Myreon Jones had another look, but couldn’t keep his hot streak alive as Florida saw its chance to win fall short at the buzzer go to overtime. And despite 20 turnovers, Mississippi State survived the Gators in overtime to advance in the SEC Tournament to play Alabama on Friday.
Mississippi State, which led by 14 points in the first half, saw Jones and the Gators claw back thanks to 3 straight 3-pointers down the stretch, including one with 36.3 seconds remaining.
State big man Tolu Smith, who had another strong game in regulation, scored early in overtime to give the Bulldogs momentum, and then Cameron Matthews followed that with a dunk. The Bulldogs kept it going with an alley-oop dunk on a transition play from Dashawn Davis to Shawn Jones Jr. That play brought fans out of their seats at Bridgestone Arena.
A series of Mississippi State turnovers late in overtime gave Florida a one-point lead with 11.8 seconds remaining, but Smith responded with some patience and a key basket with 4.1 seconds remaining. Smith had 28 points and 12 rebounds.
A Jones 3 in the final seconds fell short as Mississippi State survived 69-68.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has said that a Mississippi State win would punch the ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
SHAWN JONES JR. ?
— Mississippi State Men’s Basketball (@HailStateMBK) March 9, 2023
SHAWN JONES JR. WOW ? pic.twitter.com/S9cJ4O1kju
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 9, 2023