Florida’s guards made the difference — a big difference — in an easy win over archrival Florida State on Wednesday night.
Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario both scored 14 points as the sixth-ranked Gators romped to a 72-47 victory over the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions.
Freshman Michael Frazier added 12 points while Scottie Wilbekin chipped in five assists and five steals.
The Gators big man, 6-foot-9 Patric Young, finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
”Hopefully our guys are able to see is that our sum, our total, is maybe bigger than one or two individuals,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. ”That’s a good sign of a team.”
No one was more impressed with Florida’s performance than Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton.
”We ran into one of the better teams that we’ve played since I’ve been at Florida State,” said Hamilton, who is in his 11th season at Florida State.
”They’ve found the magic level,” Hamilton said. ”They understand who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are and they’re just executing until they find the mistake that you’re going to make and they make you pay.”
Time and again it turned out.
It took the Gators just 5 minutes to take a 12-2 lead and the rout was on.
”We took care of business in the first 4 minutes and that’s what really determined the game,” said Boynton, whose layup with 8:57 left gave Florida its largest lead, 62-25.
”We didn’t want to slow the game down,” Boynton said. ”We could have beat them by more.”
Florida (7-0) has held five opponents to less than 50 points this season while taking its fourth straight win over the Seminoles (4-4) who have lost three straight home games after their most lopsided defeat to Florida since a 96-61 loss in 1999.
”They were struggling switching pick and rolls with their bigger guys,” Young said.
Michael Snaer led Florida State with 10 points, all in the second half. It was the second straight game that Snaer started slowly, failing to even take a shot in the first half of Sunday’s 61-56 loss to Mercer.
”When your system is not in synch it’s difficult for any of the guys to execute,” Hamilton said. ”I think he’ll be fine.”
Snaer’s first field goal came with his team down by 37 points and some of the 10,593 fans already headed home.
Florida, which came into the game ranked second nationally in scoring defense, had the Seminoles baffled from the outset, forcing 13 turnovers in the first half and outrebounding them 21-11.
Florida State shot 25 percent in the opening half and managed three points over the final 8:54.
Florida came into the game with five wins at home and another on a neutral site in Tampa. The Gators didn’t appear the least bit bothered opening their road schedule on their archrival’s court.
Florida shot 49.1 percent in the game and forced 22 turnovers while Florida State shot 34.8 percent.
Former Florida State player Mitch Wiggins and his son Andrew, one of the most highly recruited prep players in the nation, attended the game.