Fastbreak: No. 12 Florida tops Richmond 67-58

The No. 12 Florida Gators (11-2) started 2014 off with a hard-fought victory, taking down the Richmond Spiders (10-5) on Saturday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. Florida won 67-58 despite leading by just two points at halftime and trailing by as many as four in the second half.

The Gators improved to 5-2 this season in single-digit decisions and have now won both 23-straight contests and 24 consecutive non-conference games in the O’Dome.

OnlyGators.com breaks down UF’s 11th win with The Fastbreak.

It was over when: Redshirt sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith drained a much-needed three-pointer that extended the Gators’ advantage to eight points with 3:31 left in the game. The triple was just his second basket of the contest as Finney-Smith finished with five points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Prominent player: Florida’s win on Saturday was very much a team effort, but senior center Patric Young was the most consistent player over 40 minutes, playing great post defense while scoring efficiently with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He also hit 3-of-6 free throws (including an and-one conversion) and grabbed six rebounds on the afternoon.

Standout stat: UF’s three-point shooting left much to be desired early in the contest. The Gators started just 1-of-11 from downtown while the Spiders began the game 6-of-14 and held a four-point lead with 13 minutes remaining. Florida went 4-for-8 from deep to close out the contest, while Richmond drained 3-of-9 threes over the final 13 minutes.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 12 Florida tops Richmond 67-58

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Florida vs. Richmond preview: Gators took advantage of time off; Spiders to provide test

(12) FLORIDA GATORS RICHMOND SPIDERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Chris Mooney
Record: 10-2 Record: 10-4
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic 10

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

TV: Comcast Sports Southeast (Matt Stewart, Daymeon Fishback) [Channel Finder]
SiriusXM: 110/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: ESPN3.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Odds: Florida -14

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 1-2 all-time against Richmond (0-1 under Donovan). The Spiders last defeated the Gators in a neutral site contest in 2009.
» UF has won 23-straight non-conference games in the O’Dome and 22 consecutive home games overall, the second-longest streak in school history.
» The Gators are 63-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponent under 71 points in a game.
» Florida is 4-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign.
» The Gators defeated top-15 teams in consecutive games for the fourth time in program history and first time ever in non-conference regular season play.
» Florida is 2-2 against ranked opponents this season with both losses coming in true road games and the victories occurring in a home contest and neutral-site game.

TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TIME OFF

The Gators will only have played four games in 32 days by the time they take the court on Saturday afternoon against the Spiders, and Donovan is pleased at how much the team has improved in that time. UF has won four-straight contests, including consecutive games against top 25-ranked opponents, and outscored its last two competitors by a combined total of 142-83.

He is especially impressed at what the Gators have been able to accomplish over the last two-plus weeks while school has been out following the conclusion of the fall semester.

“They’ve done a good job. We’ve had a good week here of practice. We’ve been able to do a lot of different things. Any time you don’t have school going on and they’re basically totally focused on the basketball piece of it, you have a chance I think to really grow and develop,” he explained.

“This last month for us has been a time where we have a week in between games where we’ve been able to improve and get better. … I’d say the last two weeks, as we’ve gotten a little bit more healthy, we’ve been able to work on different things in practice. And I think it’s worked well for us.”

Continue Reading » Florida vs. Richmond preview: Gators took advantage of time off; Spiders to provide test

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FOUR BITS: Cincy ready, Boynton’s shooting

1 » One day after advancing to the finals of the Gator Holiday Classic with a dominating 62-35 win over the Southern Jaguars, Florida Gators women’s basketball (5-6) fell to the High Point Panthers (5-6) 75-68 at home in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Senior forward Sharielle Smith led the Gators with a team-high 11 points for the fifth double-double of her career (11 rebounds).

2 » Though they lost head coach Brian Kelly to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their interim coach, Jeff Quinn, accepted the head job with the Buffalo Bulls, the Cincinnati Bearcats are playing better than ever, according to quarterback Tony Pike. “I think this has been our best week of practice this season,” Pike said. “It’s been a relief to get back on the field. The success we’ve had this season had been overshadowed by the other stuff.” The Bearcats and Gators will both descend on New Orleans, LA, on Saturday to begin practice for the 2010 Sugar Bowl.

3 » A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Florida freshman guard Kenny Boynton has already delighted fans with his exciting play and aggressive style. His shot selection, however, leaves much to be desired. Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun took a closer look at Boynton’s struggles – the freshman sensation is shooting only 37 percent from the floor and a measly 21.9 percent from beyond the arc. In the Gators’ loss last Saturday against the Richmond Spiders, Boynton was 0-6 from three-point range, some of which were simply bad shots. “Kenny may have taken some bad shots, but I think the same thing can be said of the rest of our team,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “Guys are going to have ups and downs. He’s got to have the freedom to take good shots, to take unchallenged shots.” While his shot selection may be questionable, one key to Boynton’s success in the backcourt is his penchant to hold onto the ball; he has a sterling 2.25 assist-to-turnover ratio.

4 » Though Donovan and his players are certainly not making excuses, one of the reason’s for Florida’s recent struggles on the court (aside from the high quality of opponents faced) are their injuries. Only six of the team’s 11 scholarship players are healthy, with the frontcourt being especially banged up. Junior forward Chandler Parsons (torn leg muscle), redshirt junior transfer center Vernon Macklin (pulled gluteus muscle) and sophomore C Kenny Kadji (back) will all likely be good-to-go Tuesday. Freshman F Erik Murphy (shoulder), on the other hand, may sit and rest. “Those kind of injuries that we have right now are similar to a lot of teams and what they go through,” Donovan said. “But there’s no question [that other teams] have a lot more depth than we do right now.”

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TWO BITS: Rainey sticking around, basketball falls

1 » Amid speculation that he was considering entry into the 2010 NFL Draft, Florida Gators redshirt sophomore running back Chris Rainey told the Orlando Sentinel that he will stay in Gainesville, FL, for “at least another year.” With Rainey, sophomore Jeff Demps and redshirt junior transfer Emmanuel Moody all coming back next season, the Gators’ running back unit may be the deepest it has been in years. Also on the roster will be sophomore Mike Gillislee, redshirt junior walk-on Christopher Scott and four-star 2010 commitment Mack Brown (Lithonia, GA).

2 » After starting the 2009 campaign 8-0 including wins over the Florida State Seminoles and then-No. 2 Michigan State Spartans, the Florida basketball team rose to No. 10/11 in the AP and USA Today/ESPN Top 25 polls, respectively. Consecutive losses to the No. 5/5 Syracuse Orange and unranked Richmond Spiders (both at neutral sites) have since dropped the Gators down to a No. 18 ranking in both polls. Florida has returned home to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and will take on the South Alabama Jaguars Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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Richmond upsets No. 13 Florida 56-53 in Sunrise

Losing their first game of the season to the No. 5 Syracuse Orange eight days ago, the No. 13 Florida Gators (8-2) were hoping to rebound Saturday evening against the Richmond Spiders (8-3) in the 2009 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. Instead, Florida fell 56-53 to their Atlantic 10 opponent, losing their second straight neutral site game, this time in Sunrise, FL, at the BankAtlantic Center. Up eight points at the end of the first half, the Gators allowed the Spiders to mount an 11-0 run in the first 2:02 of the second half to take a 33-32 lead.

Florida shot 7-for-27 in the second half (26 percent) including 1-of-9 from beyond the arc. At one point, they came back to take a 49-48 lead, but relinquished it quickly and never recovered. Richmond guard David Gonzalvez led Richmond shooting 50 percent from the field and 4-for-9 from three-point range to accumulate 16 points on the evening. Star G Kevin Anderson contributed 14 points of his own, going 5-of-7 from the free throw line including four in the last 5.4 seconds of the game.

Junior forward Alex Tyus led the Gators with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and redshirt junior transfer center Vernon Macklin contributed a team-high 11 rebounds though he only shot 2-for-8 from the floor. Hometown stars freshman G Kenny Boynton and sophomore G/F Ray Shipman were held silent on the evening, contributing six points (3-for-12 shooting, 0-for-6 from three) and zero points, respectively. Senior F Dan Werner, junior F Chandler Parsons and sophomore point guard Erving Walker each scored nine points. The Gators were wholly ineffective, shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from three-point range.

Florida returns to action Tuesday, hosing the South Alabama Jaguars (8-4) at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

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OBBC: No. 13 Florida Gators vs. Richmond Spiders

Event: Orange Bowl Basketball Classic
Location: BankAtlantic Center – Sunrise, FL [Capacity: 20,737]
Time: 6:30 p.m. (EST)

TV: Sun Sports
Online: GatorVision
Sirius: 211; XM: 199

No. 13 Florida Gators Richmond Spiders
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Chris Mooney
Record: 8-1 Record: 7-3
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic 10
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6.5, O/U 129

KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Five-star freshman guard Kenny Boynton…has 22 assists with just one turnover in the last three games.
- Senior F Chandler Parsons…who comes off the bench as Florida’s sixth man and is averaging 12.0 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game (team-high). Playing a career-high in minutes, Parsons is UF’s first double-figures scorer off the bench since point guard Anthony Roberson in 2002-03.
- Richmond PG Kevin Anderson…who was named Preseason All-Atlantic 10 first-team and leads his team with 16.8 points per game.

STREAKS:
- Florida is 7-1 when participating in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, with their last loss coming to the UAB Blazers in 1997. The Gators are on a 3-0 streak since returning to the game in 2006.
- The Gators are 1-1 all-time against the Spiders, winning the last meeting 66-52 on March, 19, 1992.
- Florida is 10-11 all-time against the Atlantic 10, 4-2 under Donovan.
- The Gators have shot over 50 percent from beyond the arc in three of their last four games, hitting 12 three-pointers in each of its last two outings.
- Florida leads the nation in three-point field goal defense at 21.5 percent. The team also leads the SEC in points per game allowed.
- Since 2005, the Gators are 24-4 in the month of December.
- In the last six games, Florida has recovered 53 total steals, reaching double-digits in steals three times in that stretch.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. Richmond Spiders preview after the jump!
Continue Reading » OBBC: No. 13 Florida Gators vs. Richmond Spiders

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OGGOA Offer: Orange Bowl Basketball Classic

In our effort to provide you with as much Florida Gators coverage as possible, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive is proud to offer its readers a special discount on tickets for the upcoming 2009 MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

On Saturday, Dec. 19, the No. 10/11 Gators basketball team (8-0) will take on the Richmond Spiders (7-1) at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, FL. Florida is on a three-game OBBC winning streak, defeating the Winthrop Eagles, Temple Owls and UAB Blazers in consecutive years. The Gators game is part of a double-header; game one features the FAU Owls and Miami Hurricanes and begins at 4 p.m.

OGGOA has secured a $5 discount per ticket for all of its readers. Every ticket gets you admission to both games. To order tickets and attend the game, contact Nicole Gruschow of the BankAtlantic Center at (954) 835-7238 or GruschowN@sselive.com and use promotional code OnlyGators.

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