Fastbreak: No. 2 Florida tops Ole Miss 75-71, starts program-best 25-2 while eyeing No. 1 spot

Playing strong defense and shutting out their opponent’s best player in the second half, the No. 2 Florida Gators (25-2, 14-0 SEC) have officially started the 2013-14 season with the best record in program history by defeating the Ole Miss Rebels (16-11, 7-7 SEC) on Saturday afternoon at the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, MS.

Florida topped Ole Miss 75-71, extending a program-best winning streak with its 19th-straight victory while surpassing the 2006-07 squad that started its season with a 24-2 (11-0 SEC) record. UF also improved to 12-2 this season in single-digit decisions (0-6 last year) and 9-2 in true road games.

OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: UF lost the half-high eight-point lead it achieved late in the second half, but senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin got it right back for his team with a runner off the glass with two minutes to play.

Prominent player: Wilbekin took a few too many threes on the afternoon, settling for long shots when the offense stalled, but nevertheless led the Gators with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting (4-for-10 from deep). He also had seven assists though did commit five turnovers on the afternoon.

Significant stretch: Trailing by one with 8:42 to play, Florida took off on a 10-2 run that gave it a seven-point lead at 66-59 with 4:08 remaining. Senior center Patric Young led the way during the stretch with four points (two on free throws), improving to 24-for-32 from the line over his last seven games (.750). [Here's why.] Young posted 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting with five rebounds.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 2 Florida tops Ole Miss 75-71, starts program-best 25-2 while eyeing No. 1 spot

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Gameday: No. 2 Florida Gators at Ole Miss – Wilbekin, Henderson primed for early tip-off

Location: Tad Smith Coliseum – Oxford, MS [Capacity: 8,867]
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST

TV: CBS (Ian Eagle, Doug Gottlieb) [Coverage Map]
SiriusXM: 113/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: CBSSports.com | Mobile Video: CBS Sports app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(2) FLORIDA GATORS OLE MISS REBELS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Andy Kennedy
Record: 24-2 (13-0 SEC) Record: 16-10 (7-6 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -7 | O/U: OFF

HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS

» Florida leads Ole Miss 61-43 in the all-time series, holding a 14-7 record under Donovan. Though UF is 21-28 on the road at Mississippi, the Gators are 5-3 under Donovan with back-to-back victories and 11 wins in the last 13 meetings.
» UF is in the midst of setting a number of program records this season. Florida has won a school-record 18-straight games (23 of its last 24), posted a program-best 13-0 start in SEC play and started the season 24-2, matching the school’s all-time mark for best overall start in school history (2006-07).
» The Gators have also won 30 consecutive home games and 15-in-a-row against league opponents in the O’Dome, both school records.
» Florida is 76-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF is 11-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. Florida is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators are 8-2 in true road games this season with both losses coming against ranked opponents during the first month of the season. UF lost those contests by a combined seven points.

Read about Saturday’s featured match-up and more on Florida-Ole Miss…
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 2 Florida Gators at Ole Miss – Wilbekin, Henderson primed for early tip-off

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Florida collapses in second half, drops SEC Tournament finale to Ole Miss 66-63

Sunday was not the first time the No. 11/13 Florida Gators dropped a single-digit decision this season. In fact, Florida (26-7) fell to 0-6 on the 2012-13 campaign in games decided by fewer than 10 points after it fell 66-63 in the 2013 SEC Tournament Championship to the Ole Miss Rebels (26-8).

The Gators, which were looking to sweep the SEC titles for the first time since 2006-07, led by 12 at halftime but were outscored 40-25 by the Rebels in the second half, a dominant performance by the underdogs.

Forward Murphy Holloway led Ole Miss with a fantastic performance as he scored a game-high 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Nearly equaling his impact was Rebels guard Marshall Henderson, who scored 21 points on 3-of-8 shooting from downtown and played a big part in his team’s second-half comeback from an emotional standpoint.

Unlike its semifinal game, Florida started Sunday’s final with a hot hand, hitting four of its first five shots and running its lead up to 18-6 midway through the first half on the back of four three-pointers including three from freshman G Michael Frazier II.

A 5-0 run for Ole Miss cut its deficit in half temporarily. Gators senior G Kenny Boynton responded with 11 points – including three triples – over a five-minute stretch to push UF’s lead to 14 points with less than two minutes to play in the first half.

Florida led by 12 at the break after hitting 7-of-14 three-pointers and 5-of-6 free throws.

Continue Reading » Florida collapses in second half, drops SEC Tournament finale to Ole Miss 66-63

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SEC Tournament – Gameday: Florida vs. Ole Miss

Location: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN [Capacity: 18,160]
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

TV: ABC/ABCHD (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 126/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: None | Mobile Video: None
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

(1) FLORIDA GATORS (3) OLE MISS REBELS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Andy Kennedy
Record: 26-6 (14-4 SEC) Record: 25-8 (12-6 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -10.5 | O/U 135

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is looking to win its fourth SEC Tournament, first since completing a three-peat in the event from 2005-07. The Gators are 38-44 all-time in the SEC Tournament (23-13 under Donovan) in 47 total appearances.
» UF enters the SEC Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed for the fourth time in school history. The team has never failed to reach the finals when listed as the top seed.
» The Gators are 7-4 all-time in SEC Tournament games held played in Nashville, TN.
» Florida leads the all-time series against Ole Miss 61-42, boasting a 14-6 mark since Donovan took over the program including five-straight victories (11 of the last 12).
» UF is 51-6 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (25-5 in 2012-13).
» The Gators have four starters that average in double figures while the Rebels have just two players that score in double digits on average.
» UF is 4-1 against top-25 opponents this season after going 3-5 against ranked adversaries last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams.
» Florida is 0-5 this season in single-digit decisions.
» The Gators are first nationally in scoring margin (+18.8), third in scoring defense (53.2), third in field goal defense (.373), ninth in field goal percentage (.485), 11th in three-point defense (.291), 19th in assist-turnover ratio (1.36) and 24th in turnover margin (3.1). Florida is also seventh nationally in fouling, committing 14.2 per game.
» The Rebels are ranked ninth nationally in turnover margin (4.3), 17th in blocks (5.4) and 22nd in scoring margin (+11.1).

Read the rest of the Florida-Ole Miss gameday preview…after the break!
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No. 4 Florida silences No. 16 Ole Miss 78-64

Facing one of its toughest tests of the season, No. 4 Florida Gators basketball (18-2, 8-0 SEC) did not even blink as it shut down the No. 16 Ole Miss Rebels (17-4, 6-2 SEC) to remain undefeated in Southeastern Conference play with a wire-to-wire 78-64 victory on Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Florida, which gave up 60 or more points to a league opponent for the first time this season, used a combination of suffocating defense and efficient offense to blow past Ole Miss and win its 10th-straight game. The winning streak matches one the Gators’ registered during the 2008-09 season and is the longest since UF won 17-straight during the 2006-07 campaign.

Senior forward Erik Murphy had one of the most efficient games of his Florida career, leading the way with a team-high 19 points by draining 5-of-6 attempts from downtown. He also registered six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.

Three of the Gators’ four starters scored in double figures with junior center Patric Young compiling a double-double of 13 points and a game-high 12 boards.

Read the rest of the Florida-Ole Miss game story.
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Gameday: No. 4 Florida Gators vs. No. 16 Ole Miss

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPNU/ESPNUHD (Tom Hart, Matt Doherty)
SiriusXM: 93/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

No. 4 FLORIDA GATORS No. 16 OLE MISS REBELS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Andy Kennedy
Record: 17-2 (7-0 SEC) Record: 17-3 (6-1 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -18 | O/U 135

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 60-42 all-time against Ole Miss, boasting a 13-6 mark since Donovan took over the program. UF is 35-11 against Mississippi in Gainesville (13-6 under Donovan) and has won four-in-a-row in the overall series as well as 10 of the last 11.
» The Gators are currently riding a nine-game winning streak, their longest since the middle of the 2008-09 season (10). UF went undefeated in the month of January (8-0) for the first time since 2007.
» Four of Florida’s regular starters are averaging double figures.
» The Gators have held three opponents under 40 points, eight more under 50 and four more under 60 so far this season. No opponent has scored more than 67 points on Florida, and UF has not surrendered more than 58 points over its last eight games.
» Florida is 42-3 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (17-2 in 2012-13).
» The Gators were just 3-5 against top-25 opponents last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams. UF is currently scheduled to take on seven top-25 opponents as part of the 2012-13 campaign and is already 2-1 in such games.
» Florida is outscoring SEC opponents by an average of +28.3 points per game, which is the best in league play through seven games since Kentucky in 1996 (+24.2).
» Ole Miss is the only other SEC team with fewer than two losses in conference action.
» The Tigers are fifth nationally in scoring offense (80.0 points), seventh in turnover margin (+5.0), eighth in three-point field goal defense (.279), 13th in scoring margin (+14.9), 15th in blocked shots (5.6).
» The Gators are second nationally in scoring defense (50.4), scoring margin (+23.4) and field goal defense (.359); eighth in field goal percentage (.495) and rebound margin (+8.9); 16th in three-point shooting (8.6) and 19th in three-point percentage (.392).
» Florida is also sixth nationally in fouling, committing 13.8 per game.

Read the rest of the Florida-Ole Miss preview with much more after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 4 Florida Gators vs. No. 16 Ole Miss

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