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Cold shooting dooms Florida Gators in loss to Butler Bulldogs

UF sees its four-game winning streak come to an end on the road.
 
Florida guard Ques Glover tries to drive on Butler forward Bryce Golden during the first half in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019.
Florida guard Ques Glover tries to drive on Butler forward Bryce Golden during the first half in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. [ MICHAEL CONROY | AP ]
Published Dec. 8, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Aaron Thompson believes unselfish play is a major part of Butler’s success.

Thompson and Sean McDermott each scored 16 to lead No. 24 Butler to a 76-62 win over Florida on Saturday.

“Nobody cares who scores, we’re just trying to get the best shot on that possession,” Thompson said. “As long as we are getting good shots, everyone is happy.”

Thompson made 6 of 7 shots and delivered seven assists for Butler (9-0).

McDermott missed his first four 3-pointers, then four of his final five. He contributed a team-high seven rebounds.

“I don’t know if we have a harder working player than Sean McDermott,” coach LaVall Jordan said. “He’s made more of an effort to become a more complete player. Obviously his strength is shooting the basketball, but he’s able to defend better.”

Jordan Tucker added 13 off the bench for the Bulldogs. Kamar Baldwin, who was averaging a team-high 17.5 points for Butler, scored 12.

Baldwin picked up two fouls in the first 3-plus minutes of the game and was limited to 11 minutes in the first half.

“When Kamar got into foul trouble early, the next man was up and ready to go,” Jordan said.

Kerry Blackshear led Florida (6-3) with 17 points. Andrew Nembhard and Noah Locke each scored 11.

The Bulldogs shot 52 percent while holding the Gators to 44. Butler made 9 of 20 3-pointers.

After a solid start against Butler, UF’s four-game winning streak ended with a thud. Entering the game shooting 30 percent from 3-point range, Florida shot 23 percent (6-of-21).

The Gators, who trailed by nine at halftime, narrowed the deficit to six points twice before the Bulldogs pulled away. Butler’s largest lead was 19 at 61-42 with 7:33 remaining.

Butler finished the first half with a 19-5 run to take a 35-26 lead at halftime. Trailing 21-16, the Bulldogs had an 11-0 run.

Florida coach Mike White said Butler was “more disciplined than us and that’s on me.”

Butler extended the nation’s longest streak of consecutive nonconference home wins at 56.

Up next for the Gators is a home game against another Big East opponent, Providence, on Dec. 17.