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Freshman Glover, Gators hold off Marshall

No. 24 Florida overcomes a first half when it had no 3s or assists.
Florida's Tre Mann, left, and Noah Locke celebrate during the second half, when the Gators overcome an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Marshall in Gainesville. [MATT STAMEY  |  AP]
Florida's Tre Mann, left, and Noah Locke celebrate during the second half, when the Gators overcome an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Marshall in Gainesville. [MATT STAMEY | AP]
Published Nov. 30

GAINESVILLE — Ques Glover scored 14, Keyontae Johnson added 13 and No. 24 Florida rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Marshall 73-67 Friday night.

It was the Gators’ fourth consecutive victory and first this season in which they trailed at the break.

They nearly gave it away in the final minute. Florida (6-2) had a 13-point lead with a little more than two minutes to play, but Marshall (2-4) hit a 3-pointer, scored off a turnover and converted a three-point play to help make it a two-point game.

Andrew Nembhard answered with a step-back floater in the lane with 20 seconds remaining. Dontay Bassett blocked a shot on the other end, and Noah Locke closed it out with two free throws.

After a lackluster opening 20 minutes in which Florida failed to make a 3-pointer or notch an assist, coach Mike White’s team played with more energy and better ball movement for most of the second half. It helped the Gators avoid falling out of the national rankings for the second time in two weeks.

Glover was once again a huge part of Florida’s success.

After scoring two points in the first four games, the freshman has 40 in the last four. He was the least heralded newcomer in White’s top-10 recruiting class, but he’s making more of an impact than fellow freshmen Scottie Lewis, Jason Jitobah, Tre Mann and Omar Payne.

The 5-foot-11 Glover made 5 of 9 shots to go with four free throws and two rebounds.

Locke finished with 10 points, and Kerry Blackshear also had 10.

Florida finished with four assists, all by Nembhard in the second half. It was the first time in White’s five seasons in Gainesville that his team failed to notch an assist in a half.

The Gators trailed 33-25 at the break and would have been in a bigger hole if not been for Glover, who scored 10 points in 12 minutes.

Florida struggled again without making 3s. It’s a trend White wants and needs to fix.

Florida next visits Butler at noon on Dec. 7, the return game in a home-and-home series. The Gators won the previous meeting 77-43 last December, one month after Butler upset Florida in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.

After Butler, UF plays Providence in the Hall of Fame Invitational in New York, then faces Utah State in the Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise on Dec. 21. The Gators return home on Dec. 28 against Long Beach State, the final game before SEC play begins.

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