No. 3 Florida Gators basketball (19-2, 8-0 SEC) nearly went wire-to-wire on Saturday, leading the Texas A&M Aggies (12-9, 3-5 SEC) for the final 38:51 of the contest on the way to a 69-36 home victory at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.
UF tied a school record by winning its 13th consecutive SEC home game, a streak that dates back to Jan. 9, 2013. The Gators have also started the season 8-0 in league play for just the third time in school history and second time in as many seasons (11-0, 2007).
Florida won its 13th-straight game and picked up a victory for the 18th time in its last 19 contests. OnlyGators.com breaks it down with six quick-hitters:
It was over when / significant stretch: After struggling to find the bottom of the net for much of the first half, the Gators used a 10-0 run to take and hold a half-high 17-point lead into the break. UF grabbed the lead with 18:51 remaining in the first half and steadily increased its lead over TAMU throughout the remainder of the contest. Florida eventually went up a game-high 38 points late in the second half.
Prominent player: Senior center Patric Young had himself a game, grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds while going 2-for-2 from the field and 5-for-8 from the line for nine points. It was his first double-digit rebounding game since Feb. 12, 2013 and came at a perfect time – on his 22nd birthday. (Young missed three-straight free throws while facing an opportunity to register his first double-double since that same date.)
“I thought he was great today. I really thought his energy was very, very good. I told him I’m going to tell him every game it’s his birthday,” said Donovan after the game. “He had a really good energy. He chased balls, he was aggressive, he was physical, he defended; I thought he really played exceptionally well today.”
Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Perfect play: On a fastbreak midway through the first half, freshman point guard Kasey Hill missed a wide open layup. Luckily for Florida, Young was there to clean things up, leaping up and between two defenders to grab the offensive rebound and immediately slam it home for a thunderous dunk that got the O’Dome on its feet.
Standout stat: UF’s three-point shooting was dreadful for a second-straight game as the team missed nine-straight tries from beyond the arc, hit just 1-of-12 first-half attempts and finished 5-for-25 from downtown. Sophomore guard Michael Frazier led the way from beyond the arc, matching his career-high and scoring a game-high with 21 points on 3-of-11 shooting from long range.
What it means: Taking care of business at home is nothing new for the Gators, which improved to 3-0 against the Aggies under Donovan and matched last season’s effort by starting the 2013-14 season with eight-straight wins against conference opponents. The loss to Florida drops Texas A&M to 0-25 in its last such games against top 10 teams.
Next up: The Gators will have just 51 hours to prepare for their next game, which will feature the debut of freshman forward Chris Walker, who will conclude a 12-game suspension and play the first game of his collegiate career. Florida hosts Missouri on Tuesday at 9 p.m. in a game that will be featured live on ESPN.