Gators cruise to blowout win at FSU

No. 6 Florida scored its third fewest points this season, but it didn't matter. The Gators still won 72-47. In its first true road test of the season, Florida went to Tallahassee and came away with its fourth straight win over the Seminoles in a game that wasn't close from the opening tipoff. The 25-point margin was the largest for any team in the rivalry for games played in Tallahassee.

The win was keyed off the Florida defense. The Gators allowed 15 points in the first half, the third fewest points allowed in a half this season. The defense wasn't as sharp in the second half, but the game was already out of reach. The Gators were still able to cruise.

"We moved around well. Florida State is a very well organized team," Billy Donovan said on his postgame radio show. "They have a scheme and things that they want to do. We talked a lot about trying to disrupt that and take them out of their rhythm and flow. Changing zone, man and press enabled us to create some turnovers and take away their continuity."

The Gators forced 22 turnovers and held the Seminoles to 34.8% (16-46) from the field. Florida State also shot just 31.6% (6-19) from behind the three-point line. Six different players on the Florida State roster had at least three turnovers.

Florida shot just 30.4% (7-23) from behind the three-point line but shot 49.1% (27-55) from the field. That stat was benefited by 12 fast break points.

"It enabled us to get out on the break," Donovan said of the Florida defense. "Anytime a team shoots in the 30 percents, there's a lot of defense rebounds, which lead to fast break. The hardest thing to do on defense is get back and get the floor balanced. We were able to get out in transition through steals and stops."

The scoring was balanced for the Gators. Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario led the scoring with 14 points each, while Michael Frazier added 12 and Patric Young chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds. Seven different players had at least five points.

After the Gators went into the locker room with a 35-15 lead, Florida didn't back off and let the Seminoles back in the game. The Gators started the second half on a 15-2 run and cruised from there.

"Rosario made some threes, Boynton made a three, and before you know it, the lead went all the way from 20 to 30," Donovan said of the start of the second half.

The blowout allowed Donovan to be smart with his lineups. Senior forward Erik Murphy (hip pointer) played despite not practicing since Florida's game last Thursday with Marquette. He played just 18 minutes but recorded nine points and seven rebounds during his time on the court.

The four freshmen were able to see extended time on the court and walk-on Jacob Kurtz also got to play. It's not what's usually expected against a rival.

"You want to get some younger guys experience. We probably had some makeshift lineups on the floor, but it was good for some of our young guys to get out there and play.

"A lot of guys contributed," Donovan said. "That's been one of the big positives about this team. Our guys have responded to adversity."

The Gators now will be focused on the practice court and final exams. Florida doesn't play against until December 15 at No. 8 Arizona.

"As a coach, I love it because it's all practice," Donovan said. "I'm not sure (the players) these guys are looking forward to it for ten days. We've got plenty of time to get healed up and refreshed."

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