Fastbreak takeaways: No. 6 Florida runs through North Florida in season opener

By Adam Silverstein
November 6, 2019
Fastbreak takeaways: No. 6 Florida runs through North Florida in season opener

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

No. 6  Florida Gators basketball (1-0) opened the season with a calm and thorough victory, picking up a 74-59 win over the North Florida Ospreys (0-1) on Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Though UF took a big lead in the game, UNF seemed unable to miss in the second half and cut down its deficit significantly on the way to the final buzzer. Let’s take a look at Florida’s first game of the season in Fastbreak.

It was over when … the Gators opened the second half on a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 23, one point shy of their game high. They blew the game open with a 16-0 stretch midway through the first half, taking their two-point lead up to 18 with 5:18 until the break. The Ospreys had plenty of time to get back in the game, but could only chip away and never got their deficit to single digits.

“I liked that we won,” quipped head coach Mike White, who did not spend much time praising his team after the game but did point out some bright spots. White specifically noted that the intensity was lacking in the second half. “I think we’ll have a really good feel for what we have in the next month or so,” he later added.

Exceptional efforts: In his first game with the program, graduate transfer forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. delivered to expectation. Blackshear posted a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double, hitting 8-of-11 shots, his lone three-point attempt and all three free throws. He added three assists just for good measure. Sophomore guard Noah Locke and freshman point guard Tre Mann were both efficient as well, combining for 25 points on 10-of-23 shooting.

Odds and ends: Florida missed its first eight shots of the game … sophomore starting PG Andrew Nembhard had a rough outing with a single basket on 1-of-7 shooting; he missed all his threes but had four dimes and did not commit a turnover … Florida only shot 3-of-15 from three but dominated points off turnovers (26-3), from the bench (20-8) and in the paint (38-14) … the Gators outrebounded the Ospreys 45-36 … Florida led for 34:21 of the 40-minute game … UF improved to 9-0 all-time against UNF; it is the fifth straight season in which the in-state programs have played … nine players on this Gators roster were not on last year’s team

What it means: Not much, really. The Gators won a game they were supposed to win and gave White the tape he needs to adjust rotations and improve their play ahead of a major step up in just five das.

Up next: Florida hosts Florida State on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in the O’Dome. The game will air live nationally on ESPN. The Seminoles dominated the Gators 81-60 to open last season for the worst loss in White’s tenure. Florida is 0-4 to FSU under White.

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