Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Sports

Gators rebound, rout Mississippi State

GAINESVILLE — Fresh off a humbling loss at Arkansas, and with a big-time game against Kentucky looming Tuesday night, No. 2 Florida got solid support from its reserves and capitalized on exceptional first-half 3-point shooting to earn an 83-58 victory over Mississippi State at sold-out O'Connell Center on Saturday.

"You need a get-back game sometimes," senior guard Kenny Boynton said. "We did a lot of good things (Saturday). We had 21 assists, and when you have that and are hitting open shots like we were, we're going to be hard to beat. We haven't seen a lot of Kentucky yet, but we'll be focused and ready."

The Gators (19-3, 9-1 SEC) got great help from freshman guard Michael Frazier II of Tampa and junior forward Casey Prather, who will be relied upon more because junior forward Will Yeguete is out with a knee injury.

Florida missed its first five 3-pointers, then hit 5-of-6 on the way to a 31-16 lead with 7:36 left in the first half. Frazier hit 3-pointers on three of five possessions to help extend the lead.

Frazier got his first career start in place of junior guard Scottie Wilbekin, whom coach Billy Donovan said was benched for a lack of energy and enthusiasm in practice the past week.

"I was just trying to come in and help any way I can," said Frazier, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds. "My role is to bring energy to this team, and if that's starting or coming off the bench, that's what I'm going to try to do."

Prather, recovering from a high ankle sprain, had a season-high 12 points, five rebounds, one block and one steal.

"I just know I have to bring more energy to the table," Prather said.

Donovan said he was pleased with the way the Gators rebounded from Tuesday's loss but said they still need to improve, particularly on defense.

"We've got to get even more focused defensively than we've been," he said. "Looking down the stat sheet against Mississippi State (7-15, 2-8), who has struggled to score, they got right around their average, and they ended up shooting around 46 percent in the second half. That's too high of a percentage. So we've got to see where we made some mistakes, and I think some guys have got to grow and get better."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

Lightning stands up to Devils, pushes its way to 3-1 series lead

NEWARK, N.J. — Bachman-Turner Overdrive's Taking Care of Business shook the walls of the Lightning locker room not long after it dispatched the Devils in Wednesday's Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.The 3-1 win was sparked by Nikita K...
Updated: 16 minutes ago

High school scoreboard for April 18

Wednesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 2, Boca Ciega 1Springstead 10, Nature Coast 4
Updated: 1 hour ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballOrioles at Tigers1 p.m.MLBBlue Jays at Yankees6:30 p.m.MLB; 1040-AMMarlins at Brewers8 p.m.FSFBoxingFeatherweights: Roach vs. Cruz9:30 p.m.ESPN2College baseballFlorida at Kentucky7 p.m.SECVanderbilt at Missouri8 p.m.ESPNUGolfPGA Europe: ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Devils Game 4

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Lightning-Devils Game 4

I guess the lesson here is never believe a hockey player when he says what happens in a scrum at the end of a playoff game doesn't carry over into the next game. It sure looks like the Lightning and Devils won't be vacationing together this summer.Th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Devils: How Tampa Bay worked its way to a 3-1 series lead

Lightning-Devils: How Tampa Bay worked its way to a 3-1 series lead

Times columnist Tom Jones gives his thoughts while watching the broadcast of Game 4 of the series between the Lightning and Devils:Hard work beats everythingWe watch the Lightning all season long and marvel at its skill. Nikita Kucherov, Steven ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Restraint? Ha. Lightning-Devils mix it up in early going of Game 4

Restraint? Ha. Lightning-Devils mix it up in early going of Game 4

NEWARK, N.J. — Both sides were in agreement Tuesday that the shenanigans during the final minute of Monday's Game 3 would not carry over to Game 4."I think the emotion of a game in a series carries over, (but) what happened at end I don't think...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

Rays journal: Whew. Alex Colome gets the job done

ST. PETERSBURG — In the end, Alex Colome got the three outs to save the game, the day and the stomach linings of his bosses from further deterioration, so in theory that should be what mattered most Wednesday.And the fact that he was smiling in...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays’ 4-2 Wednesday win

Alex Colome's ninth-inning dramatics took the focus, but the work of newly corn-rowed RHP Chaz Roe in the seventh (three Ks) and LHP Jose Alvarado (one K, two infield outs) was textbook, and showed how the bullpen can work.RELATED: Whew. Alex Colome ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

Anonymous Rays rally to beat Rangers 4-2, win series

ST. PETERSBURG — Even before they lost several of the hitters they were relying most on to injuries, the Rays did not exactly have a lineup built on intimidation.Their own owner said opening day that he expected them to rank among the least pro...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Updated: 5 hours ago