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 pulls away from Fresno State

SUNRISE — Florida kept making Fresno State miss and kept grabbing rebounds.

Eventually, the Gators started to sink some shots, too.

No. 16 Florida won with defense Saturday, allowing its fewest points this season to beat Fresno State 66-49 in the second game of the Orange Bowl Classic doubleheader at the BB&T Center.

UF held the Bulldogs to 32 percent shooting, a season-best by the Gators. Fresno State made 4 of 17 3-pointers, including a basket from near midcourt at the final buzzer.

"This was probably our best game defensively from start to finish," Gators coach Billy Donovan said. "I was happy with the way we guarded. They weren't able to score quickly on us. They had to go deep into the shot clock."

Casey Prather scored 16 for the Gators (9-2), who had a 47-24 advantage in rebounds. Prather was voted the game's most valuable player.

Fresno State (6-6) lost its third game in a row and fell to 1-5 on the road.

"It was an honor to come in here and compete against one of the best teams in the country," coach Rodney Terry said.

The Gators made 1 of 13 3-pointers in the first half, but thanks to their defense they still led 23-19. Defense was an area Donovan emphasized in practice after Florida gave up 75 points Tuesday in a win at Memphis.

"We did a great job doing things we've been trying to do in practice," Prather said. "We've just been trying every day to stay hungry as possible to get better on defense and become great defensively."

While Fresno State missed 34 shots, the Bulldogs had only nine offensive rebounds. The Gators' edge on the boards was by far their largest this season.

"We knew going in that on the glass they're a monster to deal with," Terry said.

Florida's Will Yeguete had five offensive rebounds and a season-high 10 total.

"The most underrated guy (Saturday) was Will," Donovan said. "He was awesome."

Point guard Scottie Wilbekin had 11 points and Yeguete nine for the Gators, who won away from Gainesville for the third time this season. Center Patric Young, who didn't start because of a sore knee, had eight points and nine rebounds.

HARRIS TO TRANSFER: Junior forward/center Damontre Harris has left Florida and was granted permission to transfer anywhere he would like. Harris, who transferred to the Gators in 2012 after starting at South Carolina, was suspended in the fall and never played for Donovan.

No. 16 Florida pulls away from Fresno State 12/21/13 [Last modified: Saturday, December 21, 2013 10:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.