Instant analysis: Florida 90, Yale 70
December, 31, 2011
By Jeff Barlis | ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- They finally fed the beast.
Florida made a concerted effort to get the ball to Patric Young in the low post, and the sophomore center rewarded the Gators with a dominating 19-point performance in the No. 10 Gators' 90-70 victory against Yale Saturday afternoon in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
"I probably got 15-plus touches, and it all equated out to really good things for our team," Young said. "The ball has to go inside-out for our team. That's just how it works. That's Florida Gator basketball, going inside-out and the ball jumping around, and everyone getting a hand on it before the shot goes up.
"I'm not saying I have to take every shot when I get it, because you see I had five assists [a career-high], but it opens up other things when everyone is getting the ball because they don't know who they're going to cover."
Florida coach Billy Donovan was pleased with the way his offense responded to a lackluster effort at Rutgers, calling it "one of the best games we played this year.
"I was really, really pleased with the way we moved and shared the ball. I think I said after the game against Rutgers that we didn't play the right way. I thought we really played the right way today."
Florida (11-3) now has 13 consecutive home wins and is 7-0 in the O'Dome this season. The Gators won their first-ever meeting with Yale and now have a 6-3 record all-time against the Ivy League.
Forward Greg Mangano led the Bulldogs (8-4) with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Mangano came into the game the only player in Division I averaging at least 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks a game.
Kenny Boynton led Florida in scoring with 26 points. Forward Erik Murphy added a career-high 18, hitting 5-of-7 from 3-point range.
Player of the game: Boynton finished the first half on a tear that included his ninth career four-point play, second this season. He had 18 in the first half on 6-of-7 shooting, 3-of-4 from beyond the 3-point line. He finished with 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 5-of-7 from 3-point distance. It was Boynton's eighth game this season with 20-plus points. More important to Boynton was the way he and his teammates shared the ball, to the tune of 24 assists on 31 field goals. "We wanted to make extra passes, offensively," he said. "Against Rutgers we felt like we could have made more passes. We probably would have gotten more open shots. The main emphasis for us was basically to come out and be happy for the next person."
Stats of the game: Florida came into the game leading the nation with 10.9 3-pointers made per game and eclipsed that at the 11:27 mark in the second half. The Gators didn't force things on the perimeter very often, which resulted in an efficient 12-of-21 (57.1 percent) shooting performance from long range. Florida made more than 10 3s in a game for the 11th time this season. Boynton has hit a 3 in 30 consecutive games, a streak that's third in UF history. ... After committing 18 turnovers in their double-overtime loss at Rutgers on Thursday night, the Gators came out with a purpose in taking care of the ball against Yale. Florida had four turnovers in the first half and finished with seven.
Noteworthy: After a poor performance at Rutgers on Thursday night, freshman Bradley Beal came out with a thundering tomahawk dunk for the Gators' second field goal of the game. Beal had three emphatic dunks in a bounce-back 11-point, 7-rebound effort. ... Sophomore forward Will Yeguete led the Gators with 9 rebounds. ... Florida is now 276-36 when holding opponents to 70 points or less since the 1998-99 season. ... Guard Mike Rosario played extended minutes in the second half while Erving Walker (3 points) sat for long stretches. Rosario finished with 9 points. ... Yale out-rebounded Florida 37-32, just the second time this season the Gators were beaten on the boards. ... Guard/forward Casey Prather (flu) was available after a one-game absence, but did not play. ... Next up for Florida is the final non-conference game of the season, a home contest against Alabama-Birmingham, Tuesday at 7 p.m.