Following weeks of close calls, devastating losses and some nail biter victories, the 13th ranked Gators got to play on cruise control.
They enjoyed every minute of it.
Florida senior Patric Young scored 15 points as Florida routed Savannah State, 76-34, and in doing so, Young became the 50th player to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau. Billy Donovan pulled him late in the second half, and as his milestone was announced, he gave the crowd one final wave.
That might have gotten the biggest cheer of the day, because the Gators ran away in the opening seven minutes, scoring 12 consecutive points to build a 14-2 advantage and essentially letting everybody know that this game would not be particularly nerve wracking. Michael Frazier added 11 points and seniors Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather each scored 10 for the Gators, who shot 56 percent from the field in the first half while taking a 34-11 halftime lead.
Savannah State’s Jyles Smith scored eight points with eight rebounds to lead the Tigers. Savannah State committed 13 first-half turnovers – 20 in all – and shot a season-worst 25 percent from the field in losing their ninth in a row. Florida seized control early, using a 12-0 run to snap a 2-2 tie. Young scored four points during the run, and 3-pointers from Frazier and DeVon Walker made it 14-2 with 13:09 remaining. The Gators used a 16-0 surge later in the half to extend their lead to 30-7. Florida led by as many as 45 points in the second half.
The Gators kick off 2014 by hosting the 9-4 Richmond Spiders on January 4th.
Game Notes: Senior Pat Young became the 50th Florida player to surpass 1,000 career points. Florida, playing at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for the first time since December 10, extended its home-court winning streak to 22 games.
The Gators host the Richmond Spiders on Saturday January 4 at 3:00 at the Stephen C. O’ Connell Center to finish out their non-conference schedule.