- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida center Patric Young almost couldn’t believe it when he saw the way UAB elected to defend the 14th-ranked Gators Tuesday night.
The Blazers were running under UF’s guards on screens, which meant the 3-point shot was going to be there all night long. Naturally, the Gators didn’t hesitate to take the long-range shots, and they finished with a season-high 15 in front of 7,512 fans at the O’Connell Center.
“We’re making 11-something 3s per game,” said Young, who had 15 points and seven rebounds. “It’s insane going under our guards.”
The Gators (12-3) were making exactly 11 3-pointers per game, which was tops in the nation. They had that number with 12:15 remaining. UF finished 15-of-27 from the 3-point range, with 13 of those coming from Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker.
The Gators' previous season high was 14 3-pointers in victories over Stetson and Rider.
“They were giving up 3s tonight,” UF coach Billy Donovan said. “They were going under [screens]. They were trying to protect the paint, and that was one of those games you’ve got to take what the defense gives you. We go 15-for-27 and almost half our shots were from behind the 3-point line, but that’s what they were forcing us to do.
“I thought with the way they were trying to play defense, they were almost daring us ... to shoot 3s, and it was a game where we shot pretty well from behind the line.”
Walker and Boynton combined to shoot 13-of-19 from the 3-point line. Walker made seven and Boynton six, which was a season high for both. They finished with 23 and 20 points, respectively.
Player of the game: Walker led all scorers with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting, which included a 7-of-9 performance from the 3-point line. He also had six assists, which moved him past Nick Calathes into third place on the school's all-time list with 456.
Stat of the game: Florida had out-rebounded 12 of its 14 opponents this season but UAB out-rebounded the Gators 21-13 in the first half. UF out-rebounded UAB 20-15 in the second half but still got out-rebounded 36-33.
What did we learn: Florida's offense works so much better when Patric Young is involved. The sophomore center went 7-of-10 from the field and did a good job of passing the ball out of the post when he was double-teamed. UAB elected to try and play him one-on-one for most of the night, and he finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Noteworthy: Guard Mike Rosario sat out the game with an ankle injury. He previously missed two games with a lower back strain. ... UF didn't shoot its first free throw until 11:15 remained in the second half. Bradley Beal went 1-for-2. ... This was UF's final non-conference game. The Gators begin Southeastern Conference play at Tennessee on Saturday.