12/15: Florida at Arizona post-game report

No. 5 Florida Gators basketball (7-1) choked away a late six-point lead by committing three turnovers in the final minute and eventually fell 65-64 on the road to the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats (8-0) on Wednesday in Tucson, AZ. Florida head coach Billy Donovan met with the media and shared some of his thoughts after the game.


» Florida and Arizona are now even at 2-2 in the all-time series between the two teams with each of the last two games going down to the wire.
» Entering the game, the Gators had only given up 26 or more points in a single half twice in 14 halves. UF allowed the Wildcats to score 29 and 36 in the first and second half, respectively.
» Arizona outscored Florida 15-0 combined in the final 1:21 of the first half and 0:56 of the second half.
» The Gators are now 32-2 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game.
» Florida outrebounded its hosts 34-26 overall and 14-8 on the offensive glass.
» The Wildcats shot 13 more free throws than the Gators (21-8) on the night.
» Florida led by a game-high 11 points in each half.
» The Gators have not defeated a top-10 opponent in a true road game since 2003 and have never taken down a top-10 non-conference opponent in a true road game.


» Senior guard Kenny Boynton had one of the worst performances of his career, going 2-for-10 from the field and 1-for-7 from downtown to finish with five points. He also missed his only free throw attempt on a one-and-one at the end of the game. Boynton has only made two of his last 20 three-point attempts over the last three games and is shooting a combined 8-of-33 in that span. He did make his 113th career start on Saturday, which tied him with Erving Walker for fifth on the school’s all-time list.
» Conversely, redshirt senior G Mike Rosario had one of the best games of his Gators career save for his two turnovers in the final minute. Rosario was 5-of-8 from the floor, made both of his threes and converted all four of his free throws on the way to a team-high 16 points. He also had a team-high four assists.
» Junior center Patric Young continued to display his improved energy, but only scored eight points, did not get to the free throw line and only grabbed two boards in 35 minutes on the court.
» Junior forward Erik Murphy (3-for-5) and junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin (3-for-3) were also extremely efficient from downtown. The duo combined for 26 points on the evening. Murphy added seven rebounds, while Wilbekin contributed two dimes.
» Arizona G Nick Johnson made threes when it counted, going 3-for-4 from downtown for 15 points. Cohort Mark Lyons added 14 points for the Wildcats and hit the game-winning layup with seven seconds left in regulation.
» A game-high 18 points came from F Solomon Hill, who converted all six of his free throws attempts and made 5-of-9 shots from the field.

Read what Donovan had to say and see much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » 12/15: Florida at Arizona post-game report

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Late turnovers doom Florida in loss to Arizona

No. 5 Florida Gators basketball (7-1) blew a six-point lead with a less than a minute left to play, turning the ball over three times and allowing the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats (8-0) to pull off a stunning 65-64 come-from-behind victory at the McKale Center in Tucson, AZ on Saturday evening.

Leading 64-58 following a three-pointer by junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin, Florida had possession with 1:01 to play and was looking to throw the ball in when redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario committed the team’s first turnover.

Following two Arizona free throws and a timeout by head coach Billy Donovan, Rosario threw the ball out of play again while trying to force it to Wilbekin. The Wildcats capitalized on the Gators’ miscue by converting a layup, but UF still retained a two-point lead with 43 seconds left to play.

Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton was stripped while trying to dribble the ball up the court against the press on the very next possession. Arizona only converted one of two attempts from the charity stripe and fouled Boynton with 21 seconds left. Boynton missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Wildcats senior G Mark Lyons hit the go-ahead layup with seven seconds left to clinch the victory for the home team.

The Gators led most of the game but fell flat on their faces at the end of each half. Florida was outscored a combined 15-0 in the final 1:21 of the first half and final 0:56 of the second half, committing four turnovers and two shooting fouls in that time.

An early 9-0 run by the Gators allowed them to take a quick 14-7 lead. A few minutes later, Florida capped a 10-2 scoring stretch with a three-pointer by senior forward Erik Murphy to inflate that advantage to a game-high 11 points with 3:57 left to play.

The Wildcats, despite committing eight first-half turnovers, were able to get right back in the contest by closing the opening period on an 8-0 run over the final 1:21. Arizona ended the half behind 32-29 but had all of the momentum heading into the break.

UF was able to start the second half like the first, using an 8-2 run to take back its double-digit lead and extending it once again to 11 points with 10 minutes to play after Rosario drained a three from the corner.

It did not take long for UA to get right back in the contest as the Wildcats scored seven-straight points in just over a minute and eventually reduced their deficit to three with less than five minutes remaining. Arizona then took it to Florida over the final minute of the game to pull off the come-from-behind win.

The Gators and Wildcats each had three players score in double figures. Lyons (14), senior F Solomon Hill (18) and sophomore G Nick Johnson (15) led the way for Arizona, while Rosario (16), Murphy (15) and Wilbekin (11) put up most of Florida’s points.

UF’s trio was a combined 8-for-10 from beyond the arc, which made up for an overall lackluster performance by Boynton, who was just 2-for-10 from the field and 1-for-7 from downtown. Murphy (five), Boynton (three) and Rosario (three) turned the ball over plenty throughout the game but especially in the second half and the final minute.

Arizona took 21 foul shots on the evening, 13 more than Florida, which only put up eight in 40 minutes. The Gators won the rebounding battle 34-26.

Florida will be forced to put this game out of its collective mind as the Gators must turnaround and face Southeast Louisiana on Wednesday. The game will air live at 7 p.m. on Sun Sports (check your local listings).

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Gameday: (5) Florida Gators at (8) Arizona

Location: McKale Center – Tucson, AZ [Capacity: 14,538]
Time: 10:00 p.m. EDT

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD (Dave Pasch, Miles Simon)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Sean Miller
Record: 7-0 Record: 7-0
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Pacific-12
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -1.5 | O/U 134.5


» Florida is 2-1 all-time against Arizona and 2-0 under Donovan. UF has won eight-straight games against Pac-12 opponents and are 11-9 all-time against the conference including 8-2 under Donovan. UA has lost three-straight games to SEC foes.
» This is the first time that two top-10 teams will meet in the McKale Center since 2004.
» Four of the Gators’ regular starters are averaging double figures.
» Florida has held five of its seven opponents to 49 points or fewer. The Gators have only given up 26+ points in a single half twice in 14 total halves this campaign.
» UF dominated in its season opener, holding Alabama State to just nine first-half points and setting a school record in the shot clock era for fewest allowed in a half.
» Florida is 32-1 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game.
» 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 1-0 in such games.
» Florida is second nationally in scoring defense (48.3 points), third in scoring margin (+25.3 points) and seventh in field goal percentage defense (.349).
» The Gators are second nationally in fouling, committing 13.1 per game, and 134th nationally in assists, dishing just 13.7 per game.
» Arizona ranks 10th in rebound margin (+11.4), while Florida checks in at 13th (+10.7) in that category nationally.
» The Wildcats get most of their offense from three starters that combine for 39.3 points and 9.4 assists per game. All three shoot better than 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.
» Arizona has four players that average 4.4-6.7 rebounds per game each.

Read the rest of the Florida-Arizona preview…more after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: (5) Florida Gators at (8) Arizona

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