Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Sports

No. 13 Florida Gators beat UAB Blazers 79-61 in final game before SEC play

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GAINESVILLE — When some baseline and upper level lights in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center went dead with about 10 minutes remaining in Tuesday night's game, UAB coach Mike Davis jokingly told Florida coach Billy Donovan that he could call it if he so desired.

"Mike said to me, 'I'm okay if you want to end the game right now, we'll just go home and get home a little bit earlier than expected,' " Donovan said.

Donovan didn't take him up on the offer, but Davis may have wished he had.

Florida guards Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton scored 23 and 20, respectively, and the No. 13 Gators (12-3) hit a season-high 15 3-pointers in a 79-61 win over the Blazers (5-8) Tuesday night. Florida extended its home winning streak to 14 games.

"I think we can be even better, honestly," said Walker, who took over sole possession of fourth place on UF's all-time 3-pointers made list with 250. "I think we can get up around 100 points, but I think we did a good job (Tuesday) and we're doing pretty good going into conference play."

The Gators took a 37-26 lead into halftime and opened the second half on an 18-8 run. Trailing 60-41, UAB outscored Florida 9-2 and pulled within eight with 6:59 remaining, but that was as close as the Blazers would get. Florida shot 55.6 percent from 3-point range.

"Besides the rebounding, I thought we were picture perfect on everything we needed to do," said UF center Patric Young, who added 15 points and seven rebounds. "It gives us a lot of confidence going into SEC play. We were being really unselfish with the ball, taking really good shots, playing good defense. We just weren't rebounding, and I think that's the only thing that kept them into the game."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

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