GAME STORYGainesville, FL - Freshman guard Anthony Roberson came off of the bench to score 19 points as the University of Florida men's basketball team improved to 6-2 with a 68-52 win over South Florida Sunday evening at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
"I thought in the first half that we played with great energy and built a pretty good lead," head coach Billy Donovan said. "I could see after the first two minutes of the second half, when I called a time out, we had no gas left in us at all. We didn't really press the way we normally do, but I thought our guys gutted it up and they found a way to win the game at the end."
Roberson shot a perfect 4-of-4 from three point range in the first half and finished the day 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Roberson also contributed three assists and a career-high four steals.
In the first half, the Gators shot 16-of-26 from the field and 5-of-10 from three point range. Sophomore center David Lee scored eight of Florida's first 14 points, all coming off of dunks. Lee finished the game with 16 points (7-of-9), five rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Gators biggest run came in the last eight minutes of the first half. With 5:41 left to go Roberson stole the ball from South Florida's Will McDonald and was then flagrantly fouled by Bull's forward Terrance Leather. Roberson made both foul shots and hit two back-to-back three point baskets to help the Gators to a 10-2 run.
Florida had only one personal foul called on them in the first half and only four fouls during the entire game. The Gators also had assists on 21 of their 25 made baskets. Senior guard Justin Hamilton led Florida with six assists.
"I think the thing that was most impressive to me was the unselfishness," Donovan said. "I think we had 21 assists, we moved the basketball, we passed it very well."
With the win over the Bulls, Florida has now won its last 16 straight games against in-state rivals and 19 of the last 20.
The Gators will travel to College Park, Md. to take on the University of Maryland Saturday, December 14 at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on CBS.
TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL NOTES
wSouth Florida's two free throw attempts was the lowest since at least 1978-79 according to research materials available at the game today. The previous low was three attempts which happen twice, Southwest Missouri State attempted three on March 13, 1986 and Jacksonville attempted three on Dec. 29, 1982.
w South Florida set the record for fewest free throws attempted by a Florida opponent under Head Coach Billy Donovan with only two attempts in the game. The previously low was six, which occurred twice (Jan. 19, 1997 vs. Kentucky and Jan. 20, 2001 vs. Vanderbilt.
w The Gators only had one personal foul called on them in the first half and only had four fouls called on them the entire game. The previous low under Donovan was 8 vs. Creighton on November 29, 1996. The four Florida fouls is the lowest since at least 1978-79 according to materials available in the O'Dome today. The previous low was seven vs. Utah on Nov. 27, 1988.
w Florida is South Florida's first loss of the season for the second year in a row.
w Florida had assists on 21 of its 25 made baskets.
w The Gators threw down six dunks in the first half alone.
w Neither team was able to put together a big run in the game. Florida's longest run was a 7-0 run in the first half, while South Florida had several 4-0 runs.
w Florida has now won its last 16 straight games again in-state rivals and 19 of the last 20 games.
w Florida has now won 33 consecutive home games against non-conference opponents at home.
w Florida leads the series with South Florida 18-5 and has won six of the last seven meetings.
attendance was 9,223.
w All of David Lee's first eight points came off dunks. He now has 35 career dunks and x this season. (he only had five dunks this season before today.)
w Lee blocked a career-high four shots.
w Anthony Roberson was a perfect 4-of-4 from three point range in the first half. The four three pointers tied his career high. He added another trey in the second half set a new career high.
w Roberson had a career-high four steals.
w Matt Bonner dished out a season-high four assists.
w Justin Hamilton tied his season high for steals with five.
Florida Coach's and Players
Head Coach Billy Donovan
On the schedule:
" I knew coming in here this afternoon, we were going to have a difficult game, one, because South Florida is a good team, and two, because of the amount of games we have played over the last three weeks. It is frustrating to me the way the schedule worked out because we barely have time to practice. That is what these young guys need, practice time between games to work on things they are not doing well."
On the game:
"I thought in the first half, we played with great energy. We built a pretty good lead. Then, I could see, after the first two minutes in the second half when I called time out, we had no gas left in us at all. We didn't really press the way we normally do, but I thought our guys gutted it up and they found a way to win the game at the end. I think the thing that was most impressive to me was the unselfishness. I think we had 21 assists, we moved the basektball, we passed it very well."
On Roberson's play:
" Certainly, in the first half, I thought that Anthony's play coming off the bench, how he shot the ball against their zone, opened things up for us."
Freshman Anthony Roberson
On his play:
"I feel alright coming off of Stanford, Kansas and West Virginia games. I was going through a freshman thing, but Coach [Donovan] had a talk with me and boosted my confidence a little. He told me I am going to go through things like that. The thing Coach stressed was energy. He told me to come into games with energy. That is what I tried to do the last two games and I think that is what helped me. It always helps to have a positive attitude."
Sophomore David Lee
On the team's energy:
"Obviously, that is a big part of the way we play and the style we play. I think Justin Hamilton said it best--after the losses to West Virginia and Stanford and we were starting to get a little worn down -- and it really put everything in perspective before the Florida State game. He said it was a new season. I think everyone has taken that into consideration. I think we are starting a new season here."
"Our goal is to take every game with the most amount of energy we can and at the same time develop a new level of toughness and a new level of confidence with our basketball team. Today we said it was the second game of our new season. We can't be perfect anymore and we can't be undefeated. We have to take one game at a time and bring the most energy we can. I think if we bring energy and play the way we are capable of playing, we can beat anybody on any given night."
South Florida Head Coach
On the game:
"I thought we played well. I thought our defensive intensity was excellent. Overall, our defensive fundamentals were terrific. A little bit of slippage in the first half, but overall, I thought we really did a nice job defending. We just didn't take very good care of the ball. It's plain and simple the advantage/disadvantage, three on twos, four on threes, two on ones. Our spacing wasn't good and we had a stretch in the second half where we had a chance to make a run. We were in a position to make a run and we were getting the stops we needed to get, but once we get stops, you have to convert their miscues into baskets."
On Anthony Roberson:
"[Anthony] Roberson is a very good player. He kind of gave them a lift when they needed one. He made big shots. I am proud of our team. I thought we were competitive on the defensive end. I thought we were competitive on the backboards."
On Justin Hamilton:
"I thought Justin Hamilton was a big difference. Billy [Donovan] talks about him a lot. He really adds another dimension because he has the ability to guard so many different types of players. He plays starters, plays finishers, plays scorers. He's a really good player. He's just a good basketball player. He's a winning player."
From UF Sports Information Department
|Technical fouls: None.
Officials: John Hampton, Ted Valentine, Tim Clougherty.