OXFORD, Miss. — Florida came into its matchup focused on stopping a talented group of Ole Miss guards.
But it was the play of the frontcourt that did in the Gators on Saturday afternoon.
Bruce Stevens scored 22, Deandre Burnett added 20 and Mississippi held off Florida 78-72, ending the Gators’ six-game winning streak.
Ole Miss outscored the Gators (12-5, 4-1 SEC) 32-22 in the paint and outrebounded them 44-35. After shooting 30 percent in the first half, the Rebels (10-7, 3-2) shot 60 percent in the second.
"Both teams battled. I thought Ole Miss battled a little harder," UF coach Michael White said. "They won the majority of the 50-50 balls in my opinion, especially in the second half. They wanted it a little more."
Redshirt sophomore forward Keith Stone scored a career-high 23 for Florida, which lost to the Rebels for the first time since White — a former Ole Miss player — replaced Billy Donovan as coach in 2015.
"It’s very big being from Florida and beating a team like Florida," said Burnett, a transfer from Miami who sat out Tuesday’s loss to Auburn after a bout with the flu.
"I felt great. The win helped me pushed through. My teammates behind me and us staying together just got us a real gutsy win down the stretch."