Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sports

Florida Gators rout Texas A&M Aggies, win fifth straight

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Florida coach Billy Donovan thought his team could be great defensively entering this season.

He has been right so far.

Mike Rosario scored 19 and Patric Young added 18 as No. 10 Florida cruised to a 68-47 victory over Texas A&M on Thursday night.

The Aggies led by one midway through the first half but the Gators took a 35-18 halftime lead, and didn't let up from there.

Florida (13-2, 3-0 SEC) won its fifth straight and joins Mississippi as the only teams with perfect conference records.

The Gators host No. 17 Missouri on Saturday.

Texas A&M (12-4, 2-1) was coming off a victory at Kentucky on Saturday, when guard Elston Turner scored a career-high 40, but the Gators held him to four on 1-of-10 shooting.

The Gators were proud of their defense on Turner, who entered averaging 17.1 points.

"We just didn't give him a chance to do what he wanted to do," Young said. "We made him really uncomfortable. Being able to limit a guy that just scored 40 points in his last game was huge."

Florida entered ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 52 points a game. UF limited A&M to a season-low in points on 34 percent shooting.

The Gators have held eight opponents to less than 50 points, and 11 to less than 60.

"They're very, very hard to guard," Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. "But I think people don't give them enough credit for their defense."

A crowd of more than 11,000, which included Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, was loud early, but Florida quickly quieted the fans.

"Our fans came out and supported us, and I wish we could've given them a better effort," Kennedy said.

A smattering of Florida fans certainly enjoyed UF's effort and made their presence known by shouting "Tim Tebow!" while the Aggies shot free throws.

Florida was missing key reserve Casey Prather, who is out 10-14 days with a high-ankle sprain. UF was helped by the return of Rosario, who missed a win over LSU on Saturday with a sprained left ankle.

"It felt good out there," Rosario said. "I was going to go out there anyway, whether it was 80 percent or 60 percent."

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