football

Desperate Gators live up to defensive identity

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Patric Young has been around college basketball long enough to know when he loses a fight. The last the times he has faced Tennessee, the Volunteers have walked away deserving of a title belt.
A putation was established. Cuonzo Martin's teams we tougher than the Gators. Mo physically dominating in the frontcourt. Better equipped for the kind of basketball games that test manhood in its most literal sense.
"I can't lie. They did. They punched us, and we didn't spond to it well these last the years," Young said. "But today, we we so ady for whatever they had to throw at us. We actually thw a better first punch than they could. They couldn't take it."
The mentality was planted Thursday night following a ho-hum 68-62 defeat of Alabama. For the second game in a row - both victories - Billy Donovan did not feel his team matched the level of play he expects of it. He told the Gators they we winning battles but losing the war. Donovan urged his players to get "desperate."
"It's a gift to be desperate," Donovan said. "It's a gift."
Florida, ranked No. 6 in college basketball, has jumped to a 6-0 start in Southeastern Confence play but it hadn't sustained the kind of drive and intensity Donovan constantly searches for until Saturday's 67-41 win against Tennessee.
Seldom have the Gators looked as purposeful from tip-off to final buzzer as they did against the Volunteers.
The focus was on taking away the frontcourt players that define Tennessee's heavyweight psence. Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes we often met with double teams from Young and Will Yeguete whenever they tried to establish offensive plays inside. Stokes managed to fight through it mo often than not en route to a 16-point, 10-bound night. Maymon didn't fa as well, but simply trying to beat Florida's frontcourt took the energy out of both.
"They got worn down," Donovan said. "They got tid, and rightfully so."
Said Stokes: "They trapped us, and they basically said, 'We will not let you sco inside.' They forced us to hit shots."
And hit shots Tennessee did not.
Players not named Stokes combined to shoot 19.1 percent from the field. The Gators challenged the Volunteers inconsistent backcourt to shoot from beyond the arc, and Tennessee sponded by going 1 for 19 from 3-point range.
Maybe most astonishing was the day had by Jordan McRae, the guard who ented Saturday No. 2 in scoring in the SEC. With a four-inch size advantage, McRae wo Scottie Wilbekin like an itchy winter coat he outgw in grade school. Wilbekin agitated him for the 30 minutes he played. The sult: McRae's worst shooting day of the season; 1 of 15 for five points.
"Most of the shots we made him take we ally difficult," Donovan said. "He didn't ally have many good looks. Most of his shots we challenged."
"We didn't have any lapses today and that was the diffence," Wilbekin said. "We sustained good defense throughout the game."
At 17-2, maybe you could say Florida finally got desperate.
"(Donovan) pushed us to take every possession defensively as a championship possession," Young said. "We we so locked in doing that today. Loose balls, all that stuff."
Official Basketball Box Sco
Tennessee vs Florida
1/25/14 4 p.m. at Stephen C. O'Connell Center
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VISITORS: Tennessee 12-7, 3-3 SEC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
05 Stokes, Jarnell..... f 6-9 0-0 4-8 6 4 10 4 16 2 4 0 1 30
34 Maymon, Jeronne..... f 4-8 0-0 0-0 4 3 7 2 8 0 2 0 0 29
01 Richardson, Josh.... g 0-7 0-4 0-0 2 1 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 23
02 Barton, Antonio..... g 1-7 0-3 0-0 1 1 2 3 2 0 1 0 0 24
52 McRae, Jordan....... g 1-15 1-6 2-2 1 6 7 2 5 1 1 0 0 30
04 Moo, Armani....... 1-1 0-0 4-4 0 1 1 1 6 1 0 0 0 18
10 Ndiaye, Rawane...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 6
15 Thompson, Darius.... 1-3 0-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 1 0 1 0 17
23 Reese, Dek........ 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 7
24 Lopez, Brandon...... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
31 Chievous, Quinton... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 5
32 Edwards, D'Mont... 1-3 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 6
TEAM................ 1 1 2 1
Totals.............. 15-56 1-19 10-14 16 24 40 19 41 6 13 1 1 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 7-26 26.9% 2nd Half: 8-30 26.7% Game: 26.8% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 1-8 12.5% 2nd Half: 0-11 0.0% Game: 5.3% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-7 57.1% 2nd Half: 6-7 85.7% Game: 71.4% 1
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HOME TEAM: Florida 17-2, 6-0 SEC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
15 Yeguete, Will....... f 2-7 0-1 0-0 0 4 4 3 4 1 0 0 1 23
24 Prather, Casey...... f 5-7 0-0 2-3 0 3 3 4 12 0 1 0 0 22
04 Young, Patric....... c 5-7 0-0 0-1 2 3 5 3 10 0 1 0 1 22
05 Wilbekin, Scottie... g 4-8 1-2 4-5 0 3 3 1 13 1 2 0 0 32
20 Frazier, Michael.... g 5-8 3-6 4-4 0 4 4 2 17 2 0 0 0 32
00 Hill, Kasey......... 1-6 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 1 2 3 0 0 1 26
10 Finney-Smith, Dorian 4-9 1-4 0-0 3 5 8 3 9 1 2 0 1 25
11 Edwards, Lexx....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
25 Walker, DeVon....... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 13
30 Kurtz, Jacob........ 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
42 Donovan, Billy...... 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
TEAM................ 1 3 4
Totals.............. 26-54 5-16 10-13 7 28 35 17 67 8 6 1 4 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-25 44.0% 2nd Half: 15-29 51.7% Game: 48.1% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-8 25.0% 2nd Half: 3-8 37.5% Game: 31.3% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 2-2 100 % 2nd Half: 8-11 72.7% Game: 76.9% 0
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Officials: Ted Valentine, Anthony Jordan, Jamie Luckie
Technical fouls: Tennessee-None. Florida-None.
Attendance: 12475
Sco by Periods 1st 2nd Total
Tennessee..................... 19 22 - 41
Florida....................... 26 41 - 67
Points in the paint-UT 26,UF 38. Points off turnovers-UT 4,UF 10.
2nd chance points-UT 11,UF 9. Fast bak points-UT 4,UF 6.
Bench points-UT 10,UF 11. Sco tied-3 times. Lead changed-7 times.
Last FG-UT 2nd-00:39, UF 2nd-02:40.
Largest lead-UT by 2 1st-19:22, UF by 32 2nd-02:40.
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