The No. 5/6 Florida Gators entered the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, FL on Wednesday evening expecting a hard-fought game against an in-state rival. Instead, Florida (7-0) dominated the Florida State Seminoles (4-4) from start to finish, piling up a 20-point lead at the half and remaining undefeated following a 72-47 victory.
The Gators used a relentless defensive effort and efficient offensive game to pull away early and hold on for the win. UF forced 22 turnovers, scored 32 points off those turnovers and overwhelmed FSU in the paint, winning the rebounding battle 34-26 and outscoring the hosts 34-14 down low.
In a sloppy first half for both teams, Florida and Florida State exchanged runs with the Gators ending the first 20 minutes on top by a huge margin. UF opened up the game by scoring 10 straight to take a 12-2 lead, but FSU quickly responded with a 7-0 run to cut its deficit to 12-9.
The Seminoles found themselves on the wrong end of a 15-3 scoring stretch, and the Gators used a half-ending 7-0 run to take a 20-point lead into the break.
Florida opened up the second half with a 15-4 run that put it ahead 50-19. Minutes later, the Gators stretched that lead to a game-high 37 points and cruised to the finish.
Senior guards Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario led the way with 14 points each on a combined 10-of-22 shooting from the field. Junior center Patric Young chipped in 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Freshman G Michael Frazier II also hit double digits, scoring 12 points on 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc.
Though he was relegated to a bench role after missing practice this week with a hip pointer, junior forward Erik Murphy looked sharp when he was on the court and finished with nine points and seven boards.
UF shot 49.1 percent from the field, registering 14 steals on the evening and 15 assists on 27 made baskets. FSU’s 47 points matched its total in 2001, which marked the second-fewest points scored by the Seminoles in the history of the series.
Florida will return home to practice and prepare for its toughest test of the season, a 10 p.m. contest against Arizona in Tucson, AZ on Dec. 15. Next Saturday’s game will air live on ESPN nationally.
POST-GAME LOCKER ROOM CELEBRATION