No. 11 Florida uses big 2nd half to beat FSU 82-64
GAINESVILLE, Fla.—Bradley Beal scored 21 points, Patric Young added 15 and No. 11 Florida beat rival Florida State 82-64 Thursday night.
The Gators (10-2) extended their winning streak to five and their home winning streak to 12.
Florida State had no answer for Young inside and did little to slow down Beal's long-range shooting and slicing drives. Seemingly more complex for the Seminoles (8-4) was Florida's press. The result was a third consecutive loss in the series.
The Seminoles finished with 19 turnovers, including eight in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. All those errors helped fuel a decisive 15-2 spurt that turned a two-point game into a lopsided affair.
Luke Loucks led Florida State with 15 points and Terry Whisnant added 11.
Florida had all five starters in double figures for the second consecutive game. Kenny Boynton had 14 points, Erik Murphy added 12 and Erving Walker chipped in 11.
Beal and Young were the key, though.
Beal made 7 of 15 shots, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range. Young hit all seven of his shots, making the most of his low-post moves and hook shots.
Young even added a highlight-reel moment during the big second-half run. He blocked Bernard James' baseline drive with his left hand, briefly pinned the ball against the backboard and then managed to cradle it in his hand. He followed with a dunk on the other end that pushed Florida's lead to 44-36.
The Gators were just getting started, too.
Will Yeguete made a layup, Young capped a nifty reverse pivot with a baby hook and then Beal took over. The freshman had a baseline dunk, then a 3 from the elbow that made it 53-38.
Florida State overcame a horrendous start to make it close in the first half. The Seminoles missed 11 of their first 12 shots and trailed 14-2 before settling into a rhythm midway through the first.
The `Noles used an 11-0 run to slice into the lead, and got plenty of help from Florida in keeping it close.
The Gators missed their first seven free throws -- continuing a trend that has plagued coach Billy Donovan's team all season -- and missed nine of their first 12 shots from 3-point range. Walker got things turned around from the charity stripe. Walker made Florida's final five attempts in the first half.
The Gators finished 16 of 24 from the free-throw line.
Florida played shorthanded again, with guard Mike Rosario out for the second consecutive game. Rosario missed several days of practice because of a strained back and was unavailable. Forward Cody Larson missed Florida's last game with strep throat. He was available, but only played the final few seconds.