Florida Gators basketball (4-4) got back to .500 on the season in dominating fashion, obliterating the Yale Bulldogs (8-3) on Monday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
Florida beat Yale 85-47 and held a 49-point lead during the contest, winning both halves with ease while potentially turning a corner after a rough start to the season.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Monday’s action with eight quick-hitters:
It was over when/significant stretch: The second half began. Already leading by 26 coming out of the break, Florida extended its advantage to 35 with an 11-2 run to open the latter period. A pair of threes from redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith, plus another from junior guard Michael Frazier II, gave UF its large advantage, which it would be expanded to 49 with 7:14 to play.
First half focus: Combining a pair of long runs, Florida broke out of the doldrums with a 24-8 scoring stretch over the final 7:21 of the first 20 minutes to lead 46-20 at the break. Frazier was 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-5 from downtown for 15 points in the opening period, while redshirt senior forward Jacob Kurtz was 4-for-4 for eight points of his own. UF started 2-of-8 from the floor but made 19 of its final 24 shots.
Prominent players: The Gators earned themselves a team award on Monday. Frazier led the way with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting (4-of-7 from beyond the arc) but was just one of four Florida players to score in double figures. Kurtz checked in with a career-high 10 on perfect 5-of-5 shooting, Finney-Smith finished with 14 while hitting 6-of-8 shots (2-of-3 from deep), and sophomore F Chris Walker notched a career-high 13 while going 6-for-10. The rest of the team was impressive in its own right, combining to go 13-for-24 from the field as UF shot 64 percent overall on the evening.
Perfect plays: Early in the first half, freshman point guard Chris Chiozza drove the open lane but caught sophomore F Chris Walker out of the corner of his eye, flinging the ball upwards for Walker to slam home as part of an 18-5 extended scoring stretch that put Florida up 22-10 with nine minutes left in the first half.
Standout stats: Florida absolutely dominated the paint on Monday, outscoring Yale 52-16 down low. The Gators also struggled to rebound early in the contest but did not have much trouble as the game wore on, outgaining the Bulldogs 33-23 on the glass, leading to a 18-7 advantage in second-chance points.
What it means: Though this was a game Florida was supposed to win, the Gators may have gained some much-needed and long-overdue confidence from one of the most dominant performances in school history.
Next up: Florida will look to double-down on its success this week when it hosts Texas Southern on Friday at 7 p.m.
Everything else:The Gators did not commit a turnover for the first 11:32 of the game and ended the first half with just three … Florida registered 18 assists on 37 made baskets … UF led for 36:42 with only two lead changes in the game … Hodskins played the final 2:28 of the contest … Hill went 4-for-4 from the field and matched a career-high with 10 assists … the Gators hit 10-of-18 threes as a team but barely got to the charity stripe, making just 1-of-4 total attempts