Gators Improve To 13-0; Georgia Next

The fifth-ranked Florida Gators continued their history making run Tuesday evening, running their school-record start of the season to 13-0 with a 92-49 victory over Morgan State before a crowd of 8,049 at the O'Connell Center. Four players scored in double figures as the Gators got in a tune-up before they open Southeastern Conference play Saturday at Georgia.

The Gators were never challenged as they shot 58.6 percent from the field (34-58) and 50 cent on three pointers (12-24) while sending Morgan State to its 11th straight loss.

Taurean Green led the Gators with one of his best all-around nights of the season. He scored 13 points, dished out nine assists and recorded six steals while turning the ball over only twice. Green went 3-4 on three-pointers in his 25 minutes on the floor.

Green was happy to get the preliminary games out of the way. He is ready for SEC play.

"We are ready to go ready to start conference play," said Green. "We just wanted to finish out these last couple of non-conference games on a good note. Now is a new season basically because our conference record is 0-0."

Lee Humphrey continued his 55 percent shooting from behind the arc with a 4-7 effort. For the season, Humphrey is 44-79 on three-pointers. Humphrey was well aware that the Gators outclassed their opponents, but he knew the Gators needed to put together a solid performance to get ready for the conference season.

"We knew that we had to come out and play hard we did a good job of getting out on the break," said Humphrey. "We wanted to focus on working on our style of play and I think we accomplished that tonight.

"We have played well this first half of the season I think that has been good for our confidence. We are going into the conference season but we know every game is going to be tough."

Humphrey is quick to credit teammates for the hot shooting start to his season.

"My teammates have done a good job kicking out the ball to me when penetrating," he said. "They are pretty aware of trying to get me the ball."

Al Horford finished Tuesday night with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Horford says he is entering the start of the SEC season with a different perspective from last year.

"Last year I really did not know what to expect in the SEC." he said. "This year I have a better sense of the SEC. We know that every game is critical and we just have to go out and do our best ever game."

Florida enters January as the only Southeastern Conference team still unbeaten. Florida is also the highest ranked team (fifth nationally) in the SEC but Horford doesn't think there is any added pressure on the Gators.

"I feel there is really no pressure on our team," he said. "We just have to go out and play the same and we have to understand that teams are trying to beat us and we just have to show up and play hard."

The real excitement of Tuesday night game came when Coach Billy Donovan emptied his bench with 5:49 remaining and walkons Garrett Tyler, Jack Berry and Brett Swanson entered the game. The three walkons scored the final 11 points of the game to the cheers of their standing teammates on the sideline.

"You kind of peek over at the bench to see how your teammates are responding and it's fun," said Tyler, whose highlight play came when he grabbed a rebound and dribbled the length of the floor for a layup. "I was dribbling down the floor looking for a teammate and I saw the defender back up so I went to the basket and scored. Anytime you get into the game it's a lot of fun especially when you get out there and you see your teammates' reaction when you score. It's nice knowing you have your teammates at your back and we are just out there trying to help each other win with the starters. You can see that but it carries to the end of the bench."

Donovan liked the way the Gators executed on offense in the first half but he wasn't particularly pleased with the defense.

"Our basketball team played well tonight," said Donovan. "I was disappointed in our three-point defense in the first half. This team shows a level of unselfishness and that is a positive for our team. These guys thrive on competing.

"I don't know how pretty they will play, but I believe these guys plays with great effort, great emotion, passion, and enthusiasm. I thought people would be proud of how hard they compete for the most part these 13 games against everybody regardless of who it's been our intensity has pretty much been the same."


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