The sixth ranked Florida men’s basketball team traveled to Tallahassee last night to take on instate rival Florida State; the Gators easily defeated the Seminoles 72 to 47 on the road.
With the win, the Gators move to 7-0, their best start since the 2009-2010 season. The 25 point victory also marked Florida’s biggest win over the Noles since 1999.
It was trouble from the word “go” for the home team, as the Gators quickly broke out to a 12 to 2 lead four minutes into the game. The Gators withstood a brief rally from the Seminoles before continuing their dominance, ending the first half up 35 to 15.
Although the score was lopsided at the end of the period, Florida head coach Billy Donovan gave credit to FSU’s effort.
But in the first half, FSU’s turnovers (13) more than doubled their field goals (5). The Seminoles shot a dismal 25%, with things not looking much better in the second.
At the end of the game, Florida had forced 22 turnovers, and the Gators scored 32 points off those turnovers. Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton believes the takeaways made the difference.
It was another brilliant defensive performance by Florida, as it held its opponent to under 50 points scored for a fifth time this season. Overall, Florida state shot 34% from the field.
But the offense did its part too, with four Gators scoring in the double digits. Guard Scottie Wilbekin, along with stealing five Seminole balls, finished with five dishes and as many points. Through seven games, the Gators are outscoring their opponents on average by more than 25 points.
Donovan maintains that it is the hustle and defensive efficiency that makes his team great.
Now the Gators can relax for awhile, with their next game against the eighth ranked Arizona Wildcats on December 15.