Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No. 16 Florida Gators pull away from Florida Atlantic 79-66

GAINESVILLE — His knee is so sore from bone spurs and tendinitis that sometimes when he's home late at night it's difficult to handle, but Florida senior center Vernon Macklin has decided that his team needs him right now more than he needs a break, so he's battling through the best he can.

On Tuesday night, Macklin pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, nine in the second half, and teammates Alex Tyus and Kenny Boynton combined for 40 points to lead the Gators to a 79-66 victory over Florida Atlantic at the O'Connell Center.

Coach Billy Donovan said this week that Macklin might be forced to sit out several weeks to rest the knee, but Macklin is refusing, saying it's not what's best for the team.

"I'm getting better right now," he said Tuesday night. "I do a lot of treatment and rehab before the game, so I'm getting better. I still feel the pain, so I'm not 100 percent yet."

For the second straight game, the No. 16 Gators (4-1) played an opponent that was overmatched, at least on paper, but which refused to go away quietly.

Florida led by as many as 13 in the first half and held a 34-32 lead at halftime. The Gators took a 47-39 lead with 12:44 remaining in the game, but the Owls (3-3) kept the game within a single-digit deficit. Midway through the second half, the Gators were shooting 6-of-17 from the field and holding precariously to a six-point lead.

But as FAU began to accumulate foul trouble and Florida took control on the boards, the Gators eventually pulled away. Although Florida outscored the Owls 36-18 in the paint, FAU kept it close with its perimeter shooting — led by sophomore forward Greg Gantt, a Gainesville native who scored a team-high 17.

For Florida Atlantic coach Mike Jarvis, the opportunity to play Florida provided a two-fold result: cash and invaluable experience he hopes will pay off later in the season.

"We need the cash, all right?" Jarvis said jokingly when asked about scheduling the Gators.

"To be honest with you, schools pay you a lot of money to go and beat up on you. When you can get paid to take a bus ride and compete, then you do. But it's a huge risk. If your kids don't compete and you come in and get pounded, then you're probably going to have a long season. …

"In the long run, this game can help us. I told our kids before the game we're trying to become a legitimate mid major. Our goal is to win our tournament, and if you do, then you're going to run into a team like Florida. (Tuesday night) was a step in the right direction."

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

No. 16 UF 79

FAU 66

No. 16 Florida Gators pull away from Florida Atlantic 79-66 11/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  2. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during the first inning of Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  4. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]