GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Billy Donovan is a firm believer that great teams are capable of winning games in different ways, and this season his No. 7 Gators have been proof of that.
On Tuesday night, when their offense wasn't spectacular, the Gators relied on a grind-it-out, defensive style. Florida held Savannah State to 24 percent shooting in the first half, earning a 58-40 victory in front of 7,323 at the O'Connell Center.
"We're not always going to shoot the ball great, that's why coach is always telling us we have to play defense," junior forward Will Yeguete said. "It wasn't pretty, but we got the win."
Florida (4-0) entered the game ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring defense and opponent's field-goal percentage. Midway through the first half, Florida had held Savannah State (3-3) to 2-of-13 from the field (15.4 percent) and zero 3-pointers.
Florida led 28-14 at halftime after Savannah State closed out the half with a 10-4 run. The Gators shot 30 percent in the first half (8-of-26).
Midway through the second half Florida guard Kenny Boynton went down with a sprained left ankle and did not return. Donovan said he is expected to be okay for Friday's game against UCF.
Junior center Patric Young had his second double double (13 points, 11 rebounds) and a career-high six blocks.
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]