No. 12 Florida 90, Rider 69
Rider’s Tommy Dempsey sounded like a coach who was impressed
with the opponent his team had just lost to.
”They have that good mix of the warrior on the inside (Patric
Young) and a guy who does all the little things for them (Will
Yeguete), a point guard (Erving Walker) who can get his own shot
and his teammates shot along with some big time scorers in (Kenny)
Boynton and (Bradley) Beal,” Dempsey said after the Broncs lost
90-69 to No. 12 Florida on Friday night. ”There’s just not a lot
of holes to their game. We fought hard, we just didn’t have a lot
of answers to their outside shooting.”
It didn’t help Rider (1-9) that Novar Gadson, a first-team
All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference selection last season, was
limited to 10 minutes as he continues to work his way back into
game shape after having offseason microfracture knee surgery. The
senior forward had three points and three rebounds.
The Gators (7-2) used the strong inside presence of Young in the
first half and then turned to their outside shooting in the final
20 minutes to pull away at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial
Boynton scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half.
Young was 5 of 6 from the field in the first half when he scored
all 12 of his points. He had seven of his 10 rebounds in the first
half as the Gators took a 43-26 lead.
Rider was in a zone defense, paying particular attention to the
outside shooting threat of Florida’s guards which left Young free
inside the paint.
”My teammates were able to find me in the first half when they
were in that zone,” said Young, who was returning to his hometown
where he led Providence H.S. to a state championship as a
Florida, which entered the game second in the nation by
averaging 11 3-pointers, bettered that mark with 13 3s in 28
attempts. Florida’s three starting guards, Boynton, freshman Beal
and Walker combined to go 12 of 23 from 3-point range.
The three-guard attack took control in the second half.
”I didn’t think we could match up with them man for man so we
leaned on the zone,” Dempsey said. ”They spread out and you can’t
guard them all. Their shooters are harder to guard in man coverage
because they’re constantly beating you off the dribble and then
you’re always looking for help.
”They play together so well and they pass the ball so well, I
thought our best chance to stay with them was in a zone. But in the
second half, once they caught fire, they just put the game
Beal and Walker both made two 3s in the opening 5 minutes of the
second half. When Scottie Wilbekin hit another 3 at the 14:46 mark,
the Gators held their biggest lead of the game, 65-38.
Thirty seconds later, Boynton added his third 3-pointer as
Florida made its first six shots from behind the arc. The Gators
only made 4 of 14 attempts the rest of the game, but they led by at
least 18 points the rest of the game.
”I feel bad for the other team because they have to try and
decide who they’re going to stop – do you watch Pat inside or
concentrate on the guards from 3-point range?” said Beal who was 3
of 8 from long range and finished with 18 points.
Boynton was 5 of 9 on 3s and made all four of his shots from
inside the line to finish two points shy of his career-high set
against Vanderbilt last January. He had five rebounds and three
assists and didn’t commit a turnover in 32 minutes.
”This was a game where we let the play come to us, we took what
the defense gave us,” Boynton said. ”Plus we did a good job in
protecting the ball with only the one turnover in the first half,
six for the game.
Reserve Jeff Jones had 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting for Rider,
which kept the game from getting out of hand in the second half by
making 6 of 12 3-point attempts.