NO. 9 GATORS SNAP
TEXAS A&M WIN STREAK
 
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Florida coach Billy Donovan thought his team could be great defensively entering this season.

So far the Gators are proving him right.

Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 18 as No. 10 Florida cruised to a 68-47 victory over Texas A&M on Thursday night.

68 - 47
Reed Arena • College Station
Attendance: 11,046
Boxscore: HTML  |  PDF
1 2  
Florida   (13-2, 3-0) 35 33 68
Texas A&M   (12-4, 2-1) 18 29 47
 Stats at a Glance
UF A&M
FG Percentage 50.0 34.0
3-Pt FG Percentage 35.0 30.0
FT Percentage 84.6 71.4
Rebounds 28 33
Turnovers 11 16
Points in the Paint 32 22
Points off Turnovers 15 14
Second Chance Points 13 12
Fast Break Points 11 7
Bench Points 4 17
UF Leaders A&M
Rosario, 19 Pts Caruso, 12
Young/Murphy, 7 Reb R Turner, 8
Boynton, 5 Ast Caruso, 3
Young, 3 Stl Caruso, 4
Young, 1 Blk Reese/Caruso, 1

The Aggies led by one point midway through the first half before a big run by the Gators gave them a 35-18 halftime lead, and they didn't let up in the second half.

It was a letdown for Texas A&M (12-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), which was coming off an 83-71 victory at Kentucky on Saturday. Elston Turner scored a career-high 40 points in that win, but managed just four points Thursday on 1-of-10 shooting.

"We as a coaching staff have made some adjustments on things and we've done some different things that has helped," Donovan said of improving the defense. "You can give them facts and show them where they need to get better and why."

The Gators were proud of their defense on Turner, who entered the game averaging 17.1 points a game.

"We just didn't give him a chance to do what he wanted to do," Young said. "We made him really uncomfortable. Being able to limit a guy that just scored 40 points in his last game was huge."

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy knows it's difficult for Turner with A&M not having another major scoring threat to take pressure off him.

"Their team defense was good," Kennedy said. "He's also had nights like that. When you have one primary scorer against a good defensive team ... they just physically wore him down and did a good job on him."

It is the fifth straight win for Florida (13-2, 3-0) which is in the midst of playing four of five games on the road.

Alex Caruso had 12 points for the Aggies, while J'Mychal Reese added 10.

Texas A&M scored five straight points, capped by a layup by Kourtney Roberson, to take a 14-13 lead about 9:30 before halftime.

The Gators answered with a 22-4 run over the rest of the first half to take a 35-18 lead.Erik Murphy scored seven points in that span, including a 3-pointer, and Young had six points capped by a dunk to help the run.

Murphy finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Aggies had four turnovers and missed seven shots, including two layups in that span.

"They're very, very hard to guard," Kennedy said. "But I think people don't give them enough credit for their defense."

Florida entered the game ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 52 points a game. Things were no different on Thursday as they limited A&M to a season-low in points on 34 percent shooting.

The Gators have held eight opponents to less than 50 points this season, and 11 to less than 60.

Florida was playing without Casey Prather, who is out 10 to 14 days with a high-ankle sprain. But they were helped by the return of Rosario, who missed a win over LSU on Saturday with a sprained left ankle.

Rosario said he planned to play regardless of how his ankle felt Thursday.

"It felt good out there," he said. "It felt how it was supposed to feel. I was going to go out there anyway, whether it was 80 percent or 60 percent and thankfully it was 110 percent for my team tonight."

The Gators scored the first four points of the second half to extend their lead to 21 points and the Aggies never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

A 3-pointer by Caruso got A&M within 46-28 with about 12 minutes remaining. Florida used an 8-0 run after that to extend the lead to 54-28.

Young liked that Florida didn't let up once it built the lead.

"You want to step on the gas," he said. "You don't want to give a team hope that they can come back into the game."

Texas A&M had a crowd of more than 11,000, which included Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. It was loud early in the game, but Florida's run in the first half quickly quieted the group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-Game Notes

Texas A&M Men's Basketball

Postgame Notes

Florida 68, Texas A&M 47

Jan. 17, 2013 Reed Arena

TEAM RECORDS & SERIES NOTES

● Texas A&M fell to 12-4 on the season with a 2-1 mark in SEC play.

● Florida, meanwhile, improved to 13-2 overall with a perfect 3-0 mark in league play.

● The Gators now lead the all-time series between the schools by the count of 3-1.

TEAM NOTES

● The crowd of 11,046 was a season-high for Texas A&M and the most since 11,818 against Missouri on Feb. 18, 2012.

● The Aggies scored a season-low 47 points in the contest, shooting just 34 percent (15-of-50) from the field.

● Florida, meanwhile, shot 50 percent for the game, converting 25-of-50 shot attempts.

● Texas A&M out-rebounded its opponent for a third consecutive game, holding a 33-28 advantage on the boards.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

● Freshman Alex Caruso led the Aggies in scoring with 12 points on the night, the second highest total in his young A&M career behind a 13-point performance against Troy on Nov. 12.

● Fellow rookie guard J'Mychal Reese reached double-figures in scoring for the fifth time in his career, finishing with 10 points.

● Senior guard Elston Turner saw his double-figure scoring streak snapped at 15 games, ending with play with four points on 1-of-10 shooting.

● Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy is now 26-22 in his second season at Texas A&M and 237-201 in 14 years as a head coach.

FIRST HALF NOTES

● Florida led 35-18 after 20 minutes of action.

● The Aggies made 8-of-24 first period shots (33.3 percent) ... The Gators, meanwhile, shot a blistering 55.6 percent (15-of-27) and made five 3-point baskets.

● The Gators outscored A&M 22-4 over the final 8:55 of the period, including a 14-0 run to end the half.

● UF's Mike Rosario made 5-of-8 first period shot attempts for a game-high 14 points ... Freshman J'Mychal Reese led the Aggies with five points at the break.

SECOND HALF NOTES

● Florida outscored Texas A&M 33-29 after halftime.

● The Aggies missed their first nine shot attempts to start the second half, before a Ray Turner put-back at the 16:16 mark.

● A&M made 9-of-26 second half field goals (.346), while Florida made 10-of-23 (.435).

● 11 of Alex Caruso's team-leading 12 points came after halftime.

UP NEXT

● Next up for the Aggies is a trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face Alabama on Saturday.

● Florida returns home to battle No. 17/16 Missouri on Saturday.

Post-Game Quotes

 

Texas A&M Basketball

Postgame Quotes

Florida 68, Texas A&M 47

Jan. 17, 2013 ● Reed Arena

Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy

Opening statement:

"We lost to a very good team. I thought they were more physical than us at every position. They're extremely well coached at both ends of the court. You've got to give them credit. I thought we played well for about 13 or 14 minutes."

On fatigue:

"Florida has heavy legs too. Their maturity and toughness was evident. We only have eight scholarship guys and they play a lot of minutes, but we've got to get tougher."

On Florida's defense:

"Their team defense was good and Elston's had nights like that before. It's unfortunate, but when you have one primary scorer against a veteran defensive team, they were aware of where he was. They did a good job on him."

On Erik Murphy:

"Murphy is the X-factor with their team. When you have a four-man who can post up and has a great feel for the game it makes you have to play differently. He's really good. I was disappointed in the second half. I don't think our effort was very good. That can't happen no matter who we are playing again."

On the fast turnaround between games:

"This is a tough turnaround and everybody in the league's had it. We were able to take advantage of Kentucky last weekend when they had this situation. Everybody in our league has to play that way. Usually depth and experience will help get you through that. Our upperclassmen have to step up against a very tough Alabama team."

On how to get the team prepared for Alabama:

"We'll go to work. Nothing's special. We'll put this game behind us. We played our bench some in the last few minutes and tried to rest some guys. This is a new experience for us. We have six guys who haven't been in this situation before. We can control our effort. That's one area we need to improve."

On the crowd:

"I'm disappointed for the crowd. We had great student support. Our fans came out and supported us. I wish we could've given them a better effort."

On Florida containing Elston Turner:

"They did a good job defending him. He had a few looks that he didn't make so he put some pressure on himself. You've got to give Florida credit for their defense and not put it on Elston's lack of ability to score."

Florida Head Coach Billy Donovan

On containing Elston Turner:

"I thought Scottie Wilbekin did a terrific job. I think certainly a player in this league has a performance like he had (against Kentucky) he got a lot of peoples' attention. Obviously, our big guys did a good job providing on screens. He's got such a great release and is a great shooter. I thought Scottie did a good job of getting there on screens."

On Mike Rosario:

"He gave us a really good boost to start the game. He had two or three really good days of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. He really played well in practice. I thought our ball movement was very good. We made the extra pass. We found the extra man. We were balanced."

 

On playing on the road:

"When you go on the road it's always difficult. I think our guys are prepared to have to go out and play for 40 minutes. Like us, Texas A&M came into this game 2-0. They're a good team. We played well. We were able to take away Elston Turner who was such a huge part of their offense in this past game. It's the process of preparing for games and getting into the game and staying focused on what's in front of you. I think our guys understand how quickly leads can evaporate and how quickly you can get leads"

 

On the atmosphere:

"I loved it. I didn't know what to expect. It's my first time in College Station. It's a beautiful facility to play in. Campus looks great. I'm sure with what the football team has done there's probably a lot of excitement around here with the football program, the basketball program and the rest of the sports. This was a great venue. Texas A&M and Missouri were great additions to our league and they've brought tremendous value both academically and athletically. Billy (Kennedy) is a guy that I've known for a long time and I have an enormous amount of respect for him as a coach and as a person. I'm impressed with this campus and facility."