Balanced Gators cruise to win over Marquette
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Balanced Gators cruise to win over Marquette

With its top scorer in a funk, No. 7 Florida decided to share the wealth. The Gators overcame a six-point game from Kenny Boynton, where the senior shot 2-for-11 from the field, by getting double-figure points from six players on the team. The seven Gators that took a shot from the field besides Boynton shot 59.1%, as Florida cruised to an 82-49 win over Marquette.

"Sometimes our team can have a night like we had," Florida head coach Billy Donvan said. "I'm not so sure we're 30 points better than Marquette. It's good in these games to find out where you need to get better."

According to Marquette head coach Buzz Williams, the Gators don't have a lot of work to do, as Florida delivered the Golden Eagles' worst loss since 2005 when Tom Crean was still the head coach.

"I've never been beat this bad in my entire career — 179 games as a head coach. That's the worst loss; not close," Williams said. "I think (Florida is) this good. I think they're good enough to win the whole thing. This atmosphere is great."

The Gators had a slow start to the game and were up 20-13 after ten minutes, but the defensive effort was there. The shots just weren't falling. Florida closed the half on an 18-11 run where the offense was better, and the defensive effort remined strong, giving the Gators their 10th half of allowing 26 points or less in 12 possible quarters this season.

The offense got off to a hot start when Michael Frazier hit four three-pointers for 12 points at the half. He added one more in the second half and ended the game with a team-high 17 points.

"I've been encouraging him to shoot because he has proven in practice and throughout his career that he's a good shooter," Donovan said. "He's one of those guys I really enjoy being around. He's passionate about the game and passionate about getting better. He puts the time in and gives forth great effort."

Erik Murphy added ten points in just 17 minutes but came out of the game in the second half because of a hip injury. He returned but only for a few minutes before spending the remainder of the game on the bench.

Mike Rosario added 11 points while Will Yeguete posted 11 points and seven rebounds. Casey Prather posted 11 points in just 16 minutes of play, going 4-for-4 from the field in his second game back from a concussion.

Patric Young recorded his second double-double of the season, posting 10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks. He did it off the bench. Florida announced just before the game that the junior would come off the bench because Donovan didn't like his effort in practice on Wednesday. He wanted to jumpstart Young, who provides important energy for the Florida roster.

It worked, as he stuffed the stat sheet on Thursday night.

"He just told me he was going to punish me for the game and teach me a lesson," Young said, understanding the decision. "It definitely worked."

Florida opened the second half on a 9-0 run and stifled any hopes of a Marquette comeback. After outscoring Marquette by 14 in the first half, the Gators did so by 19 in the second half to cruise to victory.

"They are a three-point shooting team," said Marquette guard Vander Blue, who led all scorers with 20 points and was the only Golden Eagles player in double figures. "With Florida, you have to make sure you guard ball screens and cover. I don't think we did a good job of that. We couldn't give them second-chance shots, but we gave up 13 offensive rebounds. They played harder than we did and they deserved to win."

The Gators return to action in Tallahassee when they face Florida State on Wednesday at 7 p.m.