Sophomore guard Michael Frazier II scored a career-high 37 points and set a new school record with 11 three-pointers in a single game as the No. 1 Florida Gators (28-2, 17-0 SEC) dismantled the South Carolina Gamecocks (11-19, 4-13 SEC) in the second half and ended the game on a 33-11 run on the way to a 72-46 win at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC on Tuesday night.
Florida extended its school-record winning streak to 22 games and continued a number of other program-best marks including winning 17 SEC games in a single season.
OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with seven quick-hitters:
It was over when: After draining five three-pointers in the first half, Frazier was held without one for the first nine minutes of the second period. Suddenly, with his team leading by just four points, Frazier exploded with four made triples in a span of 3:27 to extend Florida’s advantage to 22 points with 7:36 to play.
Prominent player: He eventually finished with 11 threes, breaking a 17-year school school mark for most in a single game (Joe Lawrence, nine, 1986). Those 11 treys were also the third-most made in a single game by an SEC player and the most ever in an SEC league game. Frazier’s 37 points were a career-high, matching Joakim Noah (March 1, 2006) for most in a single game under head coach Billy Donovan. He finished 11-for-18 from beyond the arc on the evening, also becoming the first UF player since Anthony Roberson (2005) to attempt that many threes in a single contest.
“The ball felt good in warm-ups. My shot looked good, felt good. And then in the game, my teammates did a great job finding me. I was able to get in the zone there but I didn’t really feel anything, I was just there and the ball went in,” he said after the game. “It was a total team effort. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them finding me. It was a total team effort. We defended as a team, rebounded the ball as a team in the second half, and we were connected. The ball was just able to go into the hoop for me tonight, but it was a total team effort winning.”
Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Significant stretches: Frazier’s four threes were part of an 18-0 run that put the game away for the Gators. Florida had pieced together an 11-0 stretch earlier in the half but saw it negated by seven-straight points by South Carolina including a converted four-point play. UF only extended its advantage from there.
Perfect play: Catching a pass beyond the arc, redshirt sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith gave a strong shot fake, drove the lane and passed the rock on the bounce to a waiting Chris Walker; the freshman forward slammed it home with two hands to tie the game at 15 midway through the first half. The duo combined for seven points with Finney-Smith bringing down a team-high six rebounds and dishing a team-most five assists.
Standout stat: Aside from Frazier, the Gators went 0-for-19 beyond the arc and 14-for-38 from the field. Frazier took three times as many shots (21) as the next Florida player (senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin – seven) and scored more than four times as many points as the team’s second-leading scorer (senior center Patric Young – nine). Overall, Frazier was responsible for 51.4 percent of the Gators’ points on the evening. Wilbekin had one of his worst performances of the season, missing all six of his three pointers to finish with two points, four assists, three boards, two steals and three turnovers. Young went 3-of-5 from the free throw line.
What it means: Despite a horrid performance from most of the team, Frazier carried Florida on his back and ensured the Gators remained undefeated in conference play heading into their regular-season finale.
Next up: Florida concludes the regular season with Senior Day in Gainesville, FL when it hosts No. 25 Kentucky on Saturday at noon. The Gators are looking to finish the SEC slate undefeated for the first time in school history and become the first program in league history to win 18 conference games.
Them gator boys are playing hard as hell. We see u guys out there.
— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) March 5, 2014
Gators looking good! Team keeps getting better. #Gators
— Al Horford (@Al_Horford) March 5, 2014