Friday, May 25, 2018
Sports

Gators' Young tops 1,000 career points in rout

GAINESVILLE — With about eight minutes remaining in an eventual 76-34 victory over Savannah State on Sunday, Florida coach Billy Donovan turned to senior center Patric Young and told him he was about to put him back in the game and run plays specifically for him.

Donovan's intent was to ensure Young hit a career milestone of 1,000 points. Young's response reminded Donovan yet again of his unselfishness: "He said 'Coach, I don't want to force anything,' " Donovan said. "That's just kind of the kid he is."

With 7:15 remaining at the O'Connell Center, Young hit a layup off an offensive rebound that gave him 1,001 points. He is the 50th Florida player and the 21st under Donovan to reach the point milestone. He scored a game-high 15 and had six rebounds.

"It was a great experience," sophomore guard Michael Frazier said. "Just to see a guy like that who's been here for four years, a guy that's done a lot for the school, a great citizen, whenever somebody like that achieves a feat like that it's always great to experience it with him."

The game was over nearly from the start. No. 13 Florida (10-2) led 34-11 at halftime after shooting 56 percent from the field and scoring 22 points off 13 first-half turnovers. The Tigers (2-11) shot just 25 percent from the field and hit just one 3-pointer in the first half. It was the lowest point total by an opponent since 2006.

As Young left the floor with 5:41 remaining, he received a standing ovation.

"I've just been very fortunate to be on winning teams and just to be here overall under Coach Donovan," Young said. "He's helped me so far. I couldn't walk and chew gum when I first got here, and I just want to thank him for believing in me and helping me get better."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

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