Gators outlast Rebels for big 64-61 road win

By Adam Silverstein
February 20, 2010

Powered by a career-high 22 points from redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin, the Florida Gators (19-8, 8-4 SEC) held on for a much-needed 64-61 road win over the Ole Miss Rebels (17-9, 5-7 SEC) at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS, on Saturday afternoon. Macklin, who was 7-for-8 for 16 points in the first half, finished 8-of-11 with seven rebounds while going an uncharacteristic 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

As a team, the Gators shot their best from the charity stripe, hitting 25-of-27 attempts (92.6 percent). Florida’s frontcourt once again led the way, accounting for 48 of the team’s 64 points (36 of its first 42). Conversely, the Gators were atrocious from downtown, finishing on only one of 13 attempts from beyond the arc – a rare made three by senior forward Dan Werner. Had Werner not connected, Florida would have gone without a made three-pointer for the first time in over 16 years (604 games).

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Gators vs. Rebels game story after the jump!

Macklin started the Gators off with four straight points, but the Rebels quickly countered with a 13-2 run to take a 13-6 lead early in the first half. Florida responded with some runs of their own to tie the contest at 25 with 1:59 left in the first half, though Ole Miss held on to a one-point lead going into halftime. The Rebels completed 5-of-11 threes in the first half, while the Gators were 0-for-6 and made all of their field goals in the paint.

Junior F Chandler Parsons hit a quick jumper coming out of halftime to give Florida a 31-30 lead at 19:50, the team’s first since being up 4-2 with 17:32 remaining in the first half. A 13-5 run by the Gators to start the second half put them up a game-high seven points (42-35) with 15:35 left, a lead they would hold most of the period until the Rebels took the it back on a three-pointer by guard Terrico White with 2:31 remaining in the game. With the game tied at 56, junior F Alex Tyus nabbed a steal and threw it forward to hustling freshman guard Kenny Boynton, who finished with a layup to put Florida back on top by two with 59 seconds left. Sophomore guard Erving Walker would hit six-straight free throws in the last 42 seconds, allowing UF to hold on for the win.

Parsons supplemented Macklin’s 22 with 13 points (5-for-5 from the line) and a game-high eight boards. Walker and Boynton combined to shoot 4-of-22 from the field and 0-for-9 from downtown for 16 points; the duo is now 6-for-35 from the field and 1-of-15 from three over the last two games. Tyus added nine points and four rebounds, while Werner’s four points were all that the Gators’ bench provided Saturday. His record-saving trey was his first since Jan. 31 and only his second dating back to Jan. 9.

Forward Terrance Henry led Ole Miss with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 22 minutes as leading-scorer guard Chris Warren accounted for a below-average 14.

Florida returns home to face the No. 20/18 Tennessee Volunteers on Tues., Feb. 23 at 9 p.m. for their third game in six days. The contest will air live on ESPN.

6 Comments

  1. Wingtee says:

    A great day! Also baseball scores a9-1 win over USF

  2. ZURBO says:

    THANK GOD FOR WERNER AND HIS 3pt SHOOTING! I dont know what we would do without him!

  3. Mark01 says:

    People like to get on Werner, but he didn’t play bad today.

    Our guard play lately has been terrible.

  4. Mark01 says:

    Also Dan Werner has a better 3pt % than Boynton.

    Boynton needs to step up his 3 pt shooting

  5. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Werner has had two good games in a row and Parsons is turning into our playmaker……he has been our best offensive player for the last few weeks….and Boyton needs to get some credit for that huge steal to set up the go ahead break away…and how strange was it that Ole Miss decided to just foul instead of playing defense down one point.

  6. Boynton didn’t even get credit for the steal on the box score, Tyus did. I’ll give him credit for not flubbing the layup though. Fact is: Walker and Boynton are playing atrociously over the last two/three games.

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