Fastbreak: Birthday boy Patric Young celebrates, leads Florida to 69-36 rout of Texas A&M

No. 3 Florida Gators basketball (19-2, 8-0 SEC) nearly went wire-to-wire on Saturday, leading the Texas A&M Aggies (12-9, 3-5 SEC) for the final 38:51 of the contest on the way to a 69-36 home victory at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

UF tied a school record by winning its 13th consecutive SEC home game, a streak that dates back to Jan. 9, 2013. The Gators have also started the season 8-0 in league play for just the third time in school history and second time in as many seasons (11-0, 2007).

Florida won its 13th-straight game and picked up a victory for the 18th time in its last 19 contests. OnlyGators.com breaks it down with six quick-hitters:

It was over when / significant stretch: After struggling to find the bottom of the net for much of the first half, the Gators used a 10-0 run to take and hold a half-high 17-point lead into the break. UF grabbed the lead with 18:51 remaining in the first half and steadily increased its lead over TAMU throughout the remainder of the contest. Florida eventually went up a game-high 38 points late in the second half.

Prominent player: Senior center Patric Young had himself a game, grabbing a career-high 14 rebounds while going 2-for-2 from the field and 5-for-8 from the line for nine points. It was his first double-digit rebounding game since Feb. 12, 2013 and came at a perfect time – on his 22nd birthday. (Young missed three-straight free throws while facing an opportunity to register his first double-double since that same date.)

“I thought he was great today. I really thought his energy was very, very good. I told him I’m going to tell him every game it’s his birthday,” said Donovan after the game. “He had a really good energy. He chased balls, he was aggressive, he was physical, he defended; I thought he really played exceptionally well today.”


Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Birthday boy Patric Young celebrates, leads Florida to 69-36 rout of Texas A&M

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No. 3 Florida-Texas A&M preview: Bouncing back

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Joe Davis, Joe Dean) [Affiliates]
SiriusXM: 113/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: ESPN3.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(3) FLORIDA GATORS TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Billy Kennedy
Record: 18-2 (7-0 SEC) Record: 12-8 (3-4 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -17.5 | O/U: OFF

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 3-1 all-time against Texas A&M with a 2-0 record under Donovan. The Aggies are visiting Gainesville for just the second time – first as a member of the SEC – and last fell to the Gators at home by a score of 73-46 on Jan. 2, 1992.
» UF is currently riding a school-record 26-game home winning streak (third longest in the nation) with 12 wins in a row against SEC opponents in the O’Dome.
» The Gators have opened league play with a 7-0 record for just the fourth time under Donovan. The school record for best SEC start is 11-0, set in 2007.
» Florida is on a 12-game winning streak and has won 17 of its last 18 games.
» The Gators are 70-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» Florida is 8-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. UF is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» 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.
» The Gators are 5-2 in true road games this season.
» This is the second-straight Thursday-Saturday turnaround for Florida. UF’s senior class is now 12-1 overall in its last six Thursday-Saturday situations (counting last Thursday’s win) and can sweep its sixth-straight instance of playing two games in that three-day period with a victory on Saturday.

Continue Reading » No. 3 Florida-Texas A&M preview: Bouncing back

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Florida Gators men’s track & field wins second-straight NCAA Outdoor Championship

Though the program had never won an NCAA Outdoor Championship prior to the 2012 season, Florida Gators men’s track & field captured its second-straight national title in the season-ending event on Saturday, coming from behind once again squeak out a victory at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR.

Nine points behind the Texas A&M Aggies heading into the men’s 4×400-meter relay, the final event of the afternoon, Florida gutted out a victory in 3:01.34 and benefited from a miscue by Texas A&M. The Aggies dropped the baton during the race, finishing eighth and earning one point, as the Gators picked up 10 points and pulled even with their Southeastern Conference rivals for a shared national title.

Florida, which entered the fourth day of competition in 11th place with just total 15 points, scored 38 during the final day of the event proceedings and brought home two additional (three total) individual national championships on Saturday.

Senior Omar Craddock ended his collegiate career by defending his outdoor men’s triple jump title with a leap of 16.92m/55-6.25, matching his score from 2012. Craddock’s victory marks the fourth-straight outdoor triple jump championship for UF and seventh overall (indoor and outdoor) from 2010-13.

The Gators also won the men’s 4×100-meter relay title in 38.53 seconds on the backs of freshman Antwan Wright, sophomore Hugh Graham, Jr., senior Leonardo Seymore and sophomore Dedric Dukes. Florida earned a 0.01-second victory in the event as Alabama finished in 38.54 seconds.

Graham and Dukes – along with freshmen Najee Glass and Arman Hall – were also part of the 4×400-meter relay title team that won in 3:01.34.

UF has won five of the last eight NCAA Championships in track & field with a three-peat in indoor competition from 2010-12 and consecutive outdoor titles from 2012-13.

The Gators conclude the 2012-13 athletic season with two NCAA Championships (gymnastics), eight SEC regular-season titles (basketball, gymnastics, soccer, women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s swimming, women’s tennis, softball) and one ALC regular-season title (lacrosse). Florida also won two SEC Tournament titles, seven individual national championships (gymnastics, swimming, track & field) and 12 individual SEC titles (swimming, track & field).

Photo Credit: @GZTrackField

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Gators baseball quickly eliminated from SEC Tournament, NCAA hopes in jeopardy

By Andrew Olson – OGGOA Contributor

Coming off losing three of their last four regular season games, eight-seed Florida Gators baseball (29-28) went one-and-out in the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament, losing 6-3 to the nine-seed Texas A&M Aggies (31-25) in a single-elimination first round game on Tuesday.

After going on a winning streak in April where they won 11-of-12 games, the Gators looked to have significantly improved their chances of participating in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Florida has not done itself any favors since, losing nine of its last 13 games and putting its NCAA Tournament hopes in the hands of the selection committee, which must weigh UF’s difficult schedule against its disappointing finish to the season.

The Gators got the start they were looking for on Tuesday, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Florida first got on the board without a hit as sophomore right fielder Justin Shafer (0/4, R) reached on an error, advanced to second on a balk, moved up to third on a failed pick-off attempt and scored on a ground out by senior first baseman Vickash Ramjit (0/4, RBI). The Gators got their second run of the inning off three singles with sophomore designated hitter Zack Powers (1/4, R) crossing the plate when senior shortstop Cody Dent (1/2, RBI) knocked him home.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Johnny Magliozzi (6.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R [4 ER], BB, 6 K) started smooth by retiring the first 10 batters he faced but ran into trouble in the middle innings Aggies third baseman Hunter Melton tilted the score 3-2 in Texas A&M’s favor with a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

Continue Reading » Gators baseball quickly eliminated from SEC Tournament, NCAA hopes in jeopardy

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SIX BITS: NBA, baseball, Tebow, women, Gillespie

1 » Former Florida Gators currently playing in the NBA collectively had an interesting last three days. Centers Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks and Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls each started March off on fire after concluding February with a career game. Horford averaged 22 points, six rebounds, 3.5 assists and three steals in two weekend games, while Noah posted two more double-doubles and averages of 17.5 points, 10 boards, five assists and 2.5 blocks in his two games. Washington Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal posted a career-high 29 points in a double-double performance (11 rebounds) on Friday but then went down hard on Sunday with a sprained left ankle that was so painful it reportedly caused him to blackout on the court. X-rays came back negative but Beal remains day-to-day for the Wizards. Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons capped off the weekend with an explosive performance Sunday, scoring a career-high 32 points on 12-of-13 shooting (6-of-7 from downtown) in just 30 minutes. He became the first player since Larry Bird to score 30+ points, shoot 92 percent or better and attempt at least five three-pointers. Parsons, a second-round pick and second-year player, continues to be an incredibly valuable player for the Rockets; he has scored 20+ points in four-straight games.

2 » Entering the weekend unranked and losers of five-straight games to Georgia Southern, Florida Gulf Coast (three) and North Florida, Florida baseball first dropped its sixth-straight contest before rallying to win the final two games of its weekend series against the Miami Hurricanes. The Gators (5-7) handed the Canes (10-2) their first two losses on the season, toppling their foes with a four-run eighth inning on Saturday and a four-run third inning on Sunday. Sophomore catcher Taylor Gushue (3/8, 4 RBI, R, 2 BB) led Florida offensively and helped both freshman right-handed reliever Jay Carmichael (1-1) and sophomore RHP Johnny Magliozzi (1-0) pick up their first victories of the season. UF plays five games in the next seven days including a home-and-home against Jacksonville and a three-game series at home against Indiana.

Read five more BITS of Gators news…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: NBA, baseball, Tebow, women, Gillespie

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Florida men’s swimming wins first SEC title since 1993; Gators capture eight championships

The No. 2 Florida Gators men’s swimming and diving program entered the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships on Wednesday looking to get over the hump and take home the title for the first time in 20 years. After leading the pack for the final three days of the event, the Gators finally accomplished that feat on Saturday, taking home the 34th SEC Championship in team history and first since 1993.

Florida (1408.0) beat the Auburn Tigers (1196.0) for the title, snapping a 16-year winning streak and reclaiming the pool after finishing second to Auburn for 11-straight years. The No. 11 Gators women (1190.5) were not as lucky, finishing third behind the Georgia Bulldogs (1420.0) and host Texas A&M Aggies (1296.0).

The men’s and women’s teams combined for eight individual SEC Championships (five and three, respectively). Florida also won four individual awards and earned 21 NCAA “A” time automatic qualifying marks.

2013 SEC Awards (4)
» SEC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year – Gregg Troy
» SEC Commissioner’s Trophy (High Point Winner, women) – Elizabeth Beisel
» SEC Female Freshman Swimmer of the Year – Natalie Hinds
» SEC Female Freshman Diver of the Year – Cassie Weil

2013 SEC Individual Titles (8)
» Men’s 100-yard butterfly – Marcin Cieslak (46.02s) [back-to-back]
» Men’s 200-yard butterfly – Marcin Cieslak (1:42.17)
» Men’s 200-yard breaststroke – Matt Elliott (1:54.13)
» Men’s 200-yard freestyle – Pawel Werner (1:33.82)
» Men’s 800-yard freestyle relay – Pawel Werner, Sebastien Rousseau, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak (6:14.76)
» Women’s 100-yard butterfly – Natalie Hinds (51.70s)
» Women’s 200-yard backstroke – Elizabeth Beisel (1:50.40) [third-straight]
» Women’s 400-yard individual medley – Elizabeth Beisel (3:59.53) [third-straight]

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Florida routs Texas A&M 68-47 in College Station

A replica of its last few contests, No. 9/10 Florida Gators (13-2, 3-0 SEC) kept Thursday evening’s road contest against the Texas A&M Aggies (12-4, 2-1 SEC) close in the beginning before eventually pulling away and registering a dominant 68-47 victory at Reed Arena in College Station, TX.

The trio of redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario, senior forward Erik Murphy and junior center Patric Young led the way for the Gators with impressive performances.

Rosario led all scorers by posting 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting (4-of-7 from three) to go along with three assists and two rebounds. Murphy chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds while going 6-for-10 from the floor and 2-for-5 from downtown. Young flexed his muscles with 18 points and seven boards while going 7-of-9 from inside the paint and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe.

Rosario got Florida off to a quick start, scoring 11 of his team’s first 13 points as UF took an early four-point lead on TAMU with five assists on its first five baskets. A 5-0 run by Texas A&M gave it back the lead at 14-13, but the momentum would not last long for the home team.

The Gators exploded over the final 8:57 of the first half, outscoring the Aggies 22-4 and ending the opening 20 minutes on a 14-0 run to take a huge 35-18 lead at the break.

Florida increased its lead to 21 with four-straight points to open the second half before Texas A&M finally got on the board again after a 9:13 scoring drought.

The Aggies’ were unable to get back in the game as the Gators continued expanding on their lead while playing sound defense to keep their hosts at bay.

UF outshot TAMU from the field (.500-.340), from downtown (.350-.300) and from the free throw line (.846-.714). The visitors registered 16 assists on 25 made baskets and forced 16 turnovers including nine steals while only coughing up the ball 10 times.

Texas A&M leading scorer, G Elston Turner, was kept in check by junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin. Turner, who scored 40 points against Kentucky last Saturday, went 1-for-10 from the floor and 0-for-4 from downtown to score just four points in the game.

Florida returns home on Saturday to host Missouri in a showdown of the top two teams in the SEC. The game will air live at 2 p.m. on ESPN and could also represent head coach Billy Donovan’s 400th win in the Orange and Blue.

Animated GIF created for OnlyGators.com by photekxl.

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TWO BITS: Texas A&M preview, Beal’s big night

1 » No. 9/10 Florida Gators basketball is currently in College Station, TX getting ready to take on the Texas A&M Aggies in each team’s third Southeastern Conference game of the season. The Texas A&M athletic department is planning to put on a show Thursday. In addition to having quarterback Johnny Manziel in attendance, the school plans to have his Heisman Trophy on display so fans can take a picture with it before the game. The Aggies’ football team will also be honored at halftime. Additionally, Texas A&M will hand out 9,000 white T-shirts to fans in what is being dubbed a “White Out” at Reed Arena. In a strange twist, Florida announced Thursday afternoon that it will be donning its home white uniforms for the game while the actual home team will be “going with a special dark uniform to commemorate the night.” In other words, the opposite of how one of these white outs is supposed to work.

No. 9/10 FLORIDA GATORS TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Billy Kennedy
Record: 12-2 (2-0 SEC) Record: 12-3 (2-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern

Location: Reed Arena – College Station, TX [Capacity: 12,989]
Time: 7:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN2/ESPN2HD (Rece Davis, Bobby Knight)
SiriusXM: 134/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

Odds: Florida -10 | O/U 122.5

2 » Rookie guard Bradley Beal had a career night for the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, scoring a season-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting while hitting 6-of-7 attempts from downtown. Beal played a team-high 41 minutes in the game, set a career mark with six treys, matched a career-high with six assists and also added three rebounds, a block and a steal. He is having a stellar January for Washington after struggling through the first two months of the season. Over the last eight games, Beal is averaging 18.8 points, 3.4 dimes and 3.6 boards while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 61.1 percent from beyond the arc.

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