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Florida Gators rebound with 66-55 win over Radford Highlanders

Radford’s Johnathan Edwards, left, and Gorkem Sonmez block the shot of Florida’s Erik Murphy during the first half.

Associated Press

Radford’s Johnathan Edwards, left, and Gorkem Sonmez block the shot of Florida’s Erik Murphy during the first half.

GAINESVILLE — The shots still aren't falling the way they need to. The turnovers remain far too many, and free-throw shooting continues to be a serious issue.

But when Florida left the O'Connell Center court on Wednesday night, at least it was with a victory.

The No. 20 Gators rebounded from Monday's home loss to Jacksonville with a 66-55 win over Radford.

"We wanted to come out and get back on track," said sophomore guard Kenny Boynton, who had 11 points and four assists. "Our last one, that was a bad loss for us. So to come out and get this one before Christmas, it was big for us."

Radford (2-9) entered the game shooting 36.5 percent from the field. But the Highlanders shot 50 percent Wednesday. Florida led 31-24 at halftime, but Radford wouldn't go quietly. The Highlanders outscored the Gators 9-2 in the final 2:55.

For Florida (9-3), the victory couldn't mask its many problems. For starters, it was the eighth game this season UF scored 68 points or fewer. And the Gators shot 36 percent from the field.

"I think the main thing is we've got to stay confident," said senior forward Chandler Parsons, who had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists but was 0-for-4 on 3-pointers and 3-of-6 from the line. "It's definitely frustrating, and we're not going to win at the level we want to win at scoring 40, 50, 60 points. It's frustrating. We've just got to keep shooting the ball with confidence and just keep trying to get the best shot. Obviously, we have guys that can score. We've just got to start making some shots."

The Gators were 11-of-21 from the free-throw line. And although Radford played zone defense all game, Florida still committed 16 turnovers, including nine in the first half. In seven of its 11 games, the Gators have had 14 or more turnovers.

"You're talking about putting an enormous amount of pressure on your defense to hold people in the 50s every single game," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "The turnovers are a major problem. It's a major, major problem. And it's not getting corrected, and it's not getting fixed. I think they're conscientious of it. I'm not sure how good of a passing and feel team we are.

"If you took those turnovers and a better percentage from the free-throw line, now you're talking about anywhere from 12 to 18 points a game. Now you're talking about getting 70 to 80 points or 68-78, somewhere in that range. We've got to clean that up."

Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

No. 20 UF 66

Radford 55

Florida Gators rebound with 66-55 win over Radford Highlanders 12/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 23, 2010 7:42am]
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