"I think coming out, our main focus was playing with great energy, because obviously we have had a lot of games in a short period of time," head coach Billy Donovan said. "We have only had a day in between to prepare and we haven't been able to practice as much as I would like to in some areas we need to improve on.
The Gators outrebounded the Chanticleers 40-21, including a dominating 19-4 advantage in the second half. Freshman center Mario Boggan led Florida on the boards, grabbing eight rebounds and sophomore center David Lee grabbed seven rebounds.
"One of the things that we talked about with Coastal Carolina was their ability to rebound offensively and our ability to guard them off the dribble," Donovan said. "I thought tonight we were pretty good in those areas. I was very impressed, and a lot more pleased with our rebounding in the second half."
Florida's freshmen accounted for 66 of the Gators 88 points. Roberson shot 7-for-14 from the field and hit 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Freshman Matt Walsh added 19 points (7-for-10) and had five steals. Today's performance marks the third consecutive game Walsh has scored in double figures. Freshman forward Adrian Moss scored nine points and Boggan added eight.
In the first half, Florida held Coastal Carolina to just 17 points (8-for-28) and the Chanticleers did not break 20 until the 17:07 mark in the second half. Roberson and Walsh went into the locker room at the half with 15 points apiece.
The Gators went on to force 23 Coastal Carolina turnovers, converting them into 29 Florida points.
Tonight's contest marks the first time since December 23, 2000, that the Gators held an opponent to under 50 points.
Florida will travel to Madison Square in New York to take on Stanford in the semifinals of the Preseason NIT at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL NOTES
- Florida held Coastal Carolina to just 17 points in the first half. That is the fifth time under Head Coach Billy Donovan the Gators have held an opponent to 17 points or less in the first half and the sixth time in any half of play.
- Tonight was the last time under Donovan that the Gators held an opponent to under 50 points. The last time was when Florida held American to 33 points on Dec. 23, 2000.
- Florida continued its hot shooting streak hitting on .500 of their shots today. The Gators are shooting .537 in the first three games while holding opponents to a .355 clip.
- The Gators are now 3-0 in the series with Coastal Carolina and have won all three games by an average of 34.3 points.
- Florida has now won 32 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents and are 38-1 over the last 3-plus seasons.
- Florida is now 23-3 in November under Head Coach Billy Donovan.
- Florida has made a three-pointer in every game since Jan. 11, 1992 (336 consecutive games).
- Florida outrebounded Coastal Carolina by nearly a 2-to-1 ratio (40-21).
- Tonight's attendance was 8488.
- Freshmen Matt Walsh and Anthony Roberson each scored 15 points in the first half. .Walsh finished with 19 and Roberson scored 26.
- Mario Boggan led the Gators with eight rebounds.
- For the second time in a week a freshman led the Gators in scoring with 26 points, as Anthony Roberson tied teammate Matt Walsh's season high with 26 tonight.
The Florida freshmen accounted for 66 of tonight's 88 points. The freshmen have scored 63.6 percent (161 of 125) of Florida's point this season.
Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan
On the game:
"I think coming out, our main focus was playing with great energy because obviously we have had a lot of games in a short period of time. We have only had a day in between to prepare. We haven't been able to practice as much as I would like to in some areas we need to improve on. One of the things that we talked about with Coastal Carolina was their ability to rebound offensively and our ability to guard them off the dribble. I thought tonight we were pretty good in those areas. I was very impressed and a lot more pleased with our rebounding in the second half. In the first half, they had 10 offensive rebounds and in the second, they only had one. That was very, very important.
On the effort:
"It was a good team effort. Certainly there will be bigger challenges come Wednesday in New York. These first three games, having a young team that is inexperienced, I think we have really learned a little bit more about ourselves. It will be a little bit different in New York come Wednesday, but we needed to focus on today and taking care of today's game. Certainly, they came out and played hard. There are times that I think we played a little bit tired but overall I think that they gave us a great effort tonight."
On his play:
"So far, I think I have done an OK job. I think my biggest focus is adjusting to guarding the five man instead of the four man a lot of times. A lot of the times with the four man, I was dealing with the perimeter a lot last year. This year, it is fighting for every possession in the post. I have been working on my rebounding both offensively and defensively. That is my main focus, that I make the most of every touch that I get."
Freshman Anthony Roberson
On going to New York:
"Personally, I am ready to play. I am ready to take every challenge I can. I am ready to get back to New York and play the teams that are supposed to be elite and are supposed to be the best. It is really going to be a test to see where we are."
Freshman Matt Walsh
On heading to New York:
"It is a good challenge for us. We are getting to face the best teams in the country, like Anthony [Roberson] said, I think we are one of the best teams in the country. I think it will be a good challenge for us to play against Stanford, Kansas and North Carolina."
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Pete Strickland
On Anthony Roberson and unselfishness of team:
"They're awful good. Awful being how I feel. Good being how they are. Unselfish and skilled are the two things that come to mind. [Anthony] Roberson I thought obviously hurt us off the dribble. He complements their unselfish guys so well because you still need somebody to stick the dagger in a little bit. He does that. He does a nice job of completing their possessions. [Matt] Walsh is always looking for people and [Matt] Bonner is unselfish. [Justin] Hamilton is kind of the senior you want. He is dutiful and keeps everybody in place. Roberson is kind of that youngest child who they allow to do some things. He was awful effective. We've got quickness at the guard, but you didn't see that today. He certainly drove right by us a bunch of times. I was a little disappointed that we didn't guard him better. Those guys get him the ball and they are unselfish and he knows what to do with it when he gets it. He's a real nice complement to those unselfish guys I mentioned."
On Florida's front court:
"[Matt] Walsh is just a tough cover because
he is so fundamental. They just seem so tuned into each other. It's a nice trio.
They seem to really play with one another extremely well. I'd say the cohesion
of that unit is the thing that strikes me."
COURTESY UF SPORTS INFO. DEPARTMENT
|Technical fouls: None.
Officials: Bruce Benedict, Mike Stuart, Tom Eades.