Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Go on the Defensive; Florida's 25 Points off Turnovers Make Statement at Seminoles' Expense

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gators Go on the Defensive; Florida's 25 Points off Turnovers Make Statement at Seminoles' Expense

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

GAINESVILLE | Patric Young would like everyone to know that Florida State isn't the only college basketball team in the state that plays suffocating defense.

"We came in with the mind-set that we would be the best defensive team on the court," said the Florida Gators' sophomore center and Providence graduate. "Our offense is so great that sometimes our defense doesn't get enough credit."

The Gators' defense earned those accolades after Thursday's 82-64 victory over the Seminoles in front of 11,125 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Florida (10-2) beat FSU (8-4) for the third time in a row by holding the Seminoles to 34 percent shooting in the first half and just a shade over 40 percent in the game, forcing 19 turnovers and blocking three shots.

"A lot of talk before we play [FSU] is how our offense will do against their defense," said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "I thought our key was going to be our defense and rebounding. It was going to come down to how well we guarded them."

Florida scored 25 points off turnovers, which FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said is hardly the way to go about beating a Donovan-coached Gators team.

"That's not the right formula," Hamilton said. "They're difficult enough to compete against. They were a lot more physical than we were and a lot of those balls that could have gone 50-50 wound up going their way about 75 percent of the time. They were a lot more emotionally prepared to compete at the highest level tonight."

Several timely steals, forced turnovers and a monster block by Young on a shot by FSU forward Bernard James sparked a 15-2 run early in the second half that turned a 38-36 lead for the Gators into a 53-38 edge with 12:02 left in the game. Freshman guard Bradly Beal scored eight of his game-high 21 points during that stretch and Young added four points.

The 11th-ranked Gators eventually built a 21-point lead and scored the most points by FSU opponent this season. Young added 15 potions on 7-of-7 shooting, Kenny Boynton had 14 points, Erik Murphy 12 and Ervin Walker 11. …

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