No. 4 Florida dominates Southern University
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) – Freshman Marreese Speights had 12 points
and 12 rebounds, as fourth-ranked Florida bounced back from its first loss of
the season with a resounding 83-27 triumph over Southern University.
Al Horford added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Gators (7-1), who came
back strong from an 82-80 overtime loss to now No. 5 Kansas Saturday night at
the Las Vegas Invitational. Florida was ranked No. 1 at the time, and on
Tuesday the Gators took out their frustrations on the Jaguars.
The Gators extended their non-conference home winning streak to 19 games and
did it without forward Corey Brewer, who was diagnosed with mononucleosis and
will be out for an indefinite period of time. Walter Hodge took over the
starting spot for Brewer and scored nine for the Gators, who shot 50 percent
from the field while limiting the Jaguars (0-6) to 10-of-48 from the field.
Speights though took over as the dominant big man Tuesday in Brewer’s absence,
also blocking three shots in only 16 minutes. Brandon Powell tallied 10 points
for Florida, who didn’t get much help from Joakim Noah and Taurean Green. Noah
had three points and Green eight.
Chike Ekweozor had six points to lead Southern, who were within 14-12 on
Joseph Jack’s jumper with just under 11 minutes left in the opening half.
However, the Gators finished the first half on a 20-4 spurt and opened the
final 20 minutes with eight points. A jam by Horford made it 42-16 with under
17 minutes remaining, and the rout was on.
A jumper by Horford boosted the Gators to a 40-point margin at 61-21 at the
midway point of the half and a layup by Speights widened the gap to 50 at
74-24 with just over four minutes left.
Billy Donovan (233-99) needs three wins to become Florida’s all-time
winningest coach…This was the first meeting between Florida and
Southern…The Jaguars had 24 turnovers.