Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FLORIDA 59, CENTRAL FLORIDA 39; A Defensive Debut Gators Score Fewest since Last Year's NCAA Tournament

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FLORIDA 59, CENTRAL FLORIDA 39; A Defensive Debut Gators Score Fewest since Last Year's NCAA Tournament

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union

Florida coach Billy Donovan ripped his basketball team following Tuesday's win over Florida A&M, saying the Gators needed to play better defense.

The Gators did against Central Florida on Thursday night, but it apparently came at the expense of their offense.

No. 2 Florida scored nearly 40 points below its season average, but it was enough to beat UCF 59-39 in front of 12,940 in the first college basketball game at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The 59 points were the fewest the Gators have scored in a game since losing 68-46 to Michigan State in second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament, and the fewest scored in a win since a 56-50 win over Tennessee on Jan. 25, 1996.

"It was a low-scoring game, which I guess it's a good thing for our defense and a bad thing for our offense," said forward David Lee, who scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in limited minutes because of a sprained right ankle. "It works both ways. We can do a lot better job and be unselfish on offense. We played really hard on defense."

Florida (4-0) held UCF (2-2) to 17-of-66 shooting (25.8 percent), which included 5 of 27 from the 3-point line. The Golden Knights missed all 11 3-point shots they took in the first half.

UCF's 39 points were the fewest the Gators have allowed since a 76-33 win over American on Dec. 23, 2000. The Golden Knights, who did not get to the free-throw line at all, scored just 19 in the second half.

"We have been working on our defense and rebounding," Lee said. "I guess it's heading in the right direction. We need to make that our main focus every game. I'm just confident about our team that we can have an off night on offense and win by playing good defense. That's something that hasn't been there the past few years.

"I never worry about our offense. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.