Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Florida Gators freshmen star in exhibition basketball win over Nebraska-Kearney

GAINESVILLE — The freshmen outshined the upperclassmen in No. 10 Florida's 101-71 exhibition victory over Division II Nebraska-Kearney on Thursday at the O'Connell Center.

Freshman guard Michael Frazier of Tampa led the Gators with 21 points (8-of-10 from the field, 5-of-6 from 3-point range), point guard Braxton Ogbueze had 15 points and guard Dillon Graham had 12 points and three assists as first-year players accounted for nearly half the Gators' points.

"I was much, much more pleased with our freshmen (than the upperclassmen)," coach Billy Donovan said. "After coaching those guys for three weeks, they in a lot of ways do not know what they're doing, but they're committed to working hard, trying to get better and being committed to the game.

"I question our older guys' commitment to defending and rebounding like we need to. That was the disappointing thing to me. I'd rather have the young guys out there making mistakes, really getting after it, giving all they have."

"I think we played really hard, and that's all Coach Donovan asked of us. … The shots just fell," said Frazier, who starred at Plant High but transferred to Montverde Academy in Lake County for his senior season.

The Gators outrebounded the undersized Lopers 32-29, and Nebraska-Kearney shot 45.8 percent for the game, including 51.9 percent after halftime. Sam Bazi led the Lopers with 19 points.

Florida junior forward Will Yeguete, playing in his first game since missing the last month of last season with a broken foot bone, had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and senior starting guard Kenny Boynton had 14 points (6 of 9 shooting).

Junior center Patric Young, senior forward Erik Murphy, senior guard Mike Rosario and junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin totaled 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Florida opens its season Nov. 9 against Georgetown aboard the USS Bataan near Jacksonville.

more exhibitions: Junior guard Maurice Creek, in his first game since Jan. 15, 2011, because of injuries, scored 12 and host No. 1 Indiana routed NAIA Indiana Wesleyan 86-57. … Freshman Montrezl Harrell had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 2 Louisville beat visiting NAIA Pikeville 93-57. … Freshman guard Archie Goodwin scored 22 as No. 3 Kentucky's highly touted freshmen class led five Wildcats in double figures in a 93-61 win over visiting NAIA Northwood. … Mason Plumlee had 19 points as No. 8 Duke beat visiting Division II Winston-Salem State 69-45.

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