Florida basketball score vs. La Salle: Gators roll again but have plenty of room to grow

By Adam Silverstein
November 15, 2018
Florida basketball score vs. La Salle: Gators roll again but have plenty of room to grow

Image Credit: Tim Casey / UAA Communications

As the Florida Gators continued to gear up for their holiday week trip to the Bahamas, some more home cooking was just what they needed. Florida (2-1) earned a decisive victory over the La Salle Explorers (0-3) on Wednesday night, picking up an 82-69 victory at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Let’s take a look at the Gators’ second win of the long 2018-19 season.

It was over when … Florida led by eight at halftime but were clearly motivated to end the game early in the second half. The Gators used a 17-1 run as part of an extended 19-4 scoring stretch to take a 23-point lead on the Explorers that eventually ballooned to a game-high 24 with 10:16 to play. From there, UF took its foot off the gas and allowed La Salle to close its deficit with an 11-1 run to end the game, though the hosts ensured their margin was above the 10 points needed for the sizable victory to count per the NCAA’s new NET rating.

Exceptional efforts: Redshirt senior guard Jalen Hudson led the way for Florida with a team-high 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting; he hit 2-of-5 threes, which is notable considering the rest of the team went 1-for-8 from downtown. Senior center Kavarrius Hayes was a perfect 5 for 5 for 12 points with a team-high six boards, and freshman forward Keyontae Johnson matched that total on 5-of-7 shooting with three boards and two assists. Freshman point guard Andrew Nembhard once again led the way with seven assists to go along with three steals and four points.

Odds and ends: The Gators did a good job limiting their three-point attempts on a night that the long ball was not needed, only taking one-quarter of their shots from beyond the arc including just four in the second half … however, Florida allowed La Salle to hit 33.3 percent of its triples on 8-of-24 shooting … UF scored 30 points off 19 turnovers and saw its bench post 39 of its 82 points … the Gators led for 37:37 of the 40-minute game

What it means: Once again, this was a game Florida should have dominated, and it did. So it gets another golf clap for that. Hudson made his way back to relevance, Hayes looked good and Johnson showed out for a first-year player. Senior G KeVaughn Allen had another rough game as his junior slump continues, going 0 for 3 from downtown (his only field goals of the night) but ensuring he made all eight of his free throws. UF simply is not going to have a significant amount of success this season unless Allen can find his old self.

Up next: Florida’s next three games will be in the 2018 Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, beginning on Nov. 21 in the Bahamas against Oklahoma.

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