Billed as one of the premiere games to start the 2010-11 college basketball season, the No. 9/10 Florida Gators and No. 4/5 Ohio State Buckeyes squared off Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. Unfortunately, after an intense first half, only one team showed up to close out the game with the Buckeyes (2-0) trouncing the Gators (1-1) 93-75.
Defense and ball control doomed Florida in the second half; UF allowed Ohio State to score 55 points and shoot 70.6 percent from the floor as they tore through the press and scored in bunches on the fast break.
Freshman forward Jared Sullinger and junior guard David Lighty led the way for OSU with 26 points apiece. Sullinger dominated down low making 13-of-17 shots and notching 10 rebounds (five offensive), while Lighty was the most efficient starter of the court draining 9-of-11 buckets.
Gators sophomore G Kenny Boynton had one of his best offensive performances in the orange and blue, going 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-8 from downtown for 21 points. Defensively he struggled in the press and had trouble in containment.
Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin rebounded from a rough opening game with an intense first half that included 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He was shut down after halftime with only one more bucket on two attempts. Also struggling late was junior point guard Erving Walker, who turned the ball over six times after the half and finished with seven giveaways. By contrast, the Buckeyes had eight turnovers as a team.
Florida took a seven-point lead in the first half but went into the locker room up only three even though they out-rebounded Ohio State 17-7. The two teams went back-and-forth to start the second half with the Buckeyes taking the lead over the Gators for good with 12:14 left on a three-pointer from G Jon Diebler to go up 59-57.
OSU outscored UF 37-18 down the stretch and took a game-high 20-point lead on a dunk by F Dallas Lauderdale with 1:15 to go. Ohio State finished the second half shooting a spectacular 70.6 percent from the field compared to 63.2 percent for Florida.
In all, the Buckeyes got off 13 more shots than the Gators, notched 11 more assists (22-11) and gave up significantly fewer turnovers (18-8). However, they were out-rebounded 26-17 with the majority of the difference coming in the first half.
Senior F Chandler Parsons, who was quiet at points during the game, finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting with a team-high seven boards, while sophomore F Erik Murphy – Florida’s lone veteran reserve – was the team’s primary threat off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks.
Losing what was likely one of their toughest match-ups of the non-conference slate, UF will attempt to regroup as they take on North Carolina A&T at home on Thursday at 7 p.m. The game will air live on Sun Sports.
POST-GAME NOTES & QUOTES (After the break…)
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