In front of a crowd filled with orange and blue even though Saturday’s contest was billed as a neutral site game, No. 11/14 Florida Gators basketball (9-2) put together a strong second half to ground the Air Force Falcons (8-3) in the 2012 Orange Bowl Classic at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL.
Florida, behind three second-half three-pointers from senior guard Kenny Boynton, outscored Air Force by 15 and hit 70 percent of its shots in the final 20 minutes, pulling away for a 78-61 victory.
Erik Murphy, who was voted the contest’s MVP after registering a game-highs of 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks. He shot 8-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Though the Falcons stuck to what they were good at and succeeded in keeping the game close by going 9-for-20 from three, UF blew it open in the second half with a 36-24 advantage on the boards and an overwhelming 38 points in the paint.
Senior forward Patric Young also scored in double-digits for Florida, posting 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting with four boards and a rejection.
Air Force standout senior G Michael Lyons registered team-highs of 11 points and seven rebounds but went just 3-of-12 from the floor in the game.
The Gators will conclude their non-conference schedule after the New Year by travelling to Yale on Jan. 6 for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off on NBC Sports Network.
Read the Florida-Air Force post-game report…after the break!
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