At the half: Miss. State 39, Florida 28

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mississippi State is threatening to break the East stranglehold.

The Bulldogs, hitting 7-of-11 3-pointers in the first half, lead Florida 39-28 at the half.

If they can hold on, it would be the first win this season by a Western Division team over one of the top four teams in the Eastern Division -- Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Florida.

As it stands now, the East is 28-0 against the West.

The Bulldogs haven’t looked anything like the team that went through the motions last weekend in a Senior Day loss to Tennessee. They shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half and led by as many as 15 points.

The Gators haven’t gotten anything easy. Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado blocked four shots in the first half.

The only Florida player who could make a shot was guard Kenny Boynton. He kept the Gators in the game by making 4-of-6 3-pointers. Chandler Parsons has been a non-factor.