GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Lawrence Roberts and No. 20 Mississippi State are emerging as Southeastern Conference road warriors.
Roberts scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Bulldogs remained unbeaten on the road with a 79-68 victory over No. 17 Florida.
Mississippi State (15-1, 4-1 SEC West) posted its first win in Gainesville since its 1995-96 Final Four season, controlling the game throughout. The Bulldogs improved to 7-0 on the road, including a trio of SEC wins.
MSU used a 16-5 burst to open the second half to build a 60-40 cushion. Winsome Frazier scored five of his 17 points in the run.
Florida (11-4, 2-2 East) had its 13-game home winning streak against SEC West opponents snapped with its second straight loss overall. The Gators played without sophomore point guard Christian Drejer, who suffered a back injury in Saturday's loss at Vanderbilt.
Roberts simply overpowered Gators center Bonell Colas and made 9-of-13 shots. The Baylor transfer used his 6-9 frame and superior footwork to post his 11th double-double of the season.
Without Drejer, Florida struggled with its ballhandling and had trouble initiating its offense. Timmy Bowers spearheaded the defensive effort for the Bulldogs with six steals.
The Gators' lack of an inside game to match Roberts was exposed as they finished 7-of-24 from the arc. Florida shot 39 percent (24-of-62) overall.
Florida was unable to establish David Lee, who was outmuscled for most of the night. Lee, who had shot over 72 percent over his last eight games, finished with 11 points and four boards on 3-of-6 shooting.
Mississippi State led by as many as 22 points despite not having a basket over the final 4:44 as Florida's late run only made the score respectable.