Florida Gators basketball dominates FSU 72-47

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

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Florida basketball holds on to defeat FSU 55-51

Hoping to save the University of Florida from a disastrous weekend in Tallahassee, FL, No. 14/16 Florida Gators basketball (5-1) survived a late run to take down the Florida State Seminoles (5-1) 55-51 at the Donald L. Tucker Center on Sunday.

Up a game-high 13 points with 14:30 remaining in the second half, Florida allowed Florida State to rattle off a 15-3 run to narrow their lead to a single point. From there the game went back-and-forth until sophomore forward Erik Murphy put in a layup off an airballed three from sophomore guard Kenny Boynton to ice the contest for the Gators.

The Seminoles began the game with a quick 5-0 run including an opening three-pointer and fastbreak dunk. Minutes later, Gators freshman F Casey Prather hit a trey to give his team their first lead of the game; it would never be relinquished after that point.

A 12-2 run helped Florida extend their lead to 17-11, and a subsequent 9-2 run to end the half allowed the Gators to walk into the locker room up 30-21.

Florida started the second half strong with a 6-0 run including a three from junior point guard Erving Walker, free throw from freshman F Will Yeguete and jumper from Boynton that put them up a game-high 13 points.

Florida State went on their 15-3 run at that point, leaving UF scrambling to keep its 44-43 lead over FSU. After plenty of back-and-forth, Seminoles G Michael Snaer nailed a trey off a loose ball to cut the Gators’ lead to 53-51 with 51.4 seconds left.

Murphy’s layup made it a two-shot game, and Florida State conceded the contest after a turnover with only three seconds remaining.

Boynton led the way for the Gators with a team-high 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting (2-of-5 from downtown) with a game-high three steals and five rebounds. Murphy made his presence felt off the bench playing major minutes in place of senior F Alex Tyus. He finished with 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting (1-of-1 from three) with a team-high six rebounds (three offensive).

With Tyus and redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin only seeing 14 and 13 minutes on the court, respectively, Florida’s freshmen frontcourt players stepped up. Center Patric Young played 25 minutes grabbing five rebounds and Yeguete notched 22 minutes with five boards of his own.

The Gators were effective in somewhat shutting down Seminoles star F Chris Singleton, who was held to eight points on 2-of-12 shooting while only grabbing five rebounds. Snaer led Florida State with 15 points (5-of-6 from three), and G Derwin Kitchen contributed eight rebounds and four assists.

UF shot better from the field (38.1-33.3%) and the line (68-54.5%) than FSU but not downtown (37.5-41.2%). They grabbed six more rebounds, notched one more block and committed six fewer fouls but turned the ball over three more times (17-14).

Winning their first road game of the season and coming out victorious in Tallahassee for the first time since 2002, Florida will remain on the road for their following two contests – a neutral site contest against Central Florida in Orlando, FL on Dec. 1 and a true road game in Washington, D.C. against American on Dec. 5.

POST-GAME NOTES & QUOTES (After the break…)
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