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No. 7 Florida Gators rout Marquette Golden Eagles

Florida center Patric Young, coming off the bench because of an attitude issue, shoots against Davante Gardner.

Associated Press

Florida center Patric Young, coming off the bench because of an attitude issue, shoots against Davante Gardner.

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."

No. 7 Florida Gators rout Marquette Golden Eagles 11/29/12 [Last modified: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:28am]

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