Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

No. 7 Florida Gators rout Marquette Golden Eagles

GAINESVILLE — If you had told Florida coach Billy Donovan prior to Thursday night's game against Marquette that the Gators would hold a 14-point halftime lead with their top scorer, Kenny Boynton, scoreless and center Patric Young not starting because of an attitude issue, you probably would have had a hard time selling him on that one.

The No. 7 Gators got 21 first-half points from their bench — led by 12 from Tampa's Michael Frazier — on the way to an 82-49 victory in an SEC-Big East Challenge game in front of 10,245 at the O'Connell Center. Six Gators scored in double figures, including Frazier who had a team-high 17.

"My teammates did a great job getting me the ball, and I just got them in," said Frazier, a freshman guard. "It feels great. I love to win and love to play. I couldn't ask for anything more."

After struggling early (3-of-13 from the field), Florida eventually shot 50 percent (14-of-28) to take a 38-24 lead at halftime.

Boynton, a senior guard who needed eight points to move into fifth place on the Gators' all-time scoring list, didn't get his first basket until the 16:30 mark of the second half, and finished with six points on 2-of-11 shooting (0-for-5 on 3-pointers). He remains just behind Stacey Poole, who had 1,678 career points.

Florida (6-0) shot 50 percent in the game, 37.5 on 3-pointers.

Marquette (5-2) withstood several runs in the first half to keep the game within reach, but Florida put the game away early in the second half, shooting 50 percent at the midway point. With 10:33 left in the game, the Golden Eagles had scored just seven second-half points and trailed 56-31.

Young, a junior who started the first five games, did not start because of an "attitude that was not conducive to our team getting better," Donovan said. Young entered with 15:19 remaining in the first half and finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"My job as a coach is to bring out the best in Patric Young as a player," Donovan said. "Right now, he wasn't doing that. It wasn't performance. It was effort, his attitude, his disruptiveness in practice that caused me to say you're not starting. Give Patric credit. He responded with a great effort."

"Coach is going to push us," Young said his teammates told him after practice Wednesday night. "I believe he sees something far greater in me than I can see in myself, so he's trying to push me. I just have to learn that it's not personal."

The Golden Eagles opened the second half 0-for-5 and didn't score until Davante Gardner's basket with 15:07 left.

Marquette entered with a bench that averaged 35 points and 22 rebounds per game, but its reserves scored just six in the first half, 19 in the game. Florida got 40 points from its bench.

"I've never been beat this bad in my entire career — 179 games as a head coach," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "That's the worst loss. Not close.

"I think they're good enough to win the whole thing."

Comments
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

ST. PETERSBURG — Former Lakewood High coach Brian Bruch started each season with the same spiel. He cautioned his players about not becoming obsessed with a professional football career, reciting statistics to emphasize the difficult the odds o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State, University of Tampa coach Earle Bruce dies

Former Ohio State football coach Earle Bruce, whose nine-year tenure in Columbus came after one season as coach of the University of Tampa's now-defunct program, passed away earlier this morning at age 87.Mr. Bruce reportedly had been battling Alzhei...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

Wall Street Journal: Baseball in Florida ‘has been a disaster’

The Rays and Miami Marlins "are at a moment of reckoning" after histories of low attendance and an offseason in which they sold off many of their top players and were singled out by the MLB Players Association for failing to spend revenue-sharing mon...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Bucs have a tough start to their schedule

The NFL did the Bucs no favors with their 2018 schedule, Rick Stroud says, making them open at New Orleans, followed by home games against Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Plus, linebacker Kendall Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle, p...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays’ Chris Archer ready to move past messy outing tonight against Twins

Rays RHP Chris Archer goes into tonight's start against the Twins with no trouble moving on from his messy Saturday performance against the Phillies that included arguably the worst inning of his career."It's already gone," Archer said Wednesday...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Memorable off day for Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough

Rays rookie LHP Ryan Yarbrough has enjoyed everything about his first major-league experience, from pitching in the games to traveling in top-notch style to getting to play in front of family and friends to seeing his first paycheck.And then the Lake...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

Life got you down? The Miracle League is back and making miracles again

ST. PETERSBURG — An old friend is back in the lineup.The Kiwanis of Gulf Beaches Miracle League, which champions baseball for the physically and mentally challenged, returned with a flourish Saturday morning. We're better for it."This...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions. The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 ...
Updated: 9 hours ago