No. 12 Florida 90, Rider 69
It was a pick-your-poison game for Rider on Friday night against
No. 12 Florida. Most of the time, the Broncs made the wrong
The Gators (7-2) used the strong inside presence of center
Patric Young in the first half and then turned to their outside
shooting in the final 20 minutes to pull away for a 90-69 victory
at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
Kenny Boynton scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half to
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
Bradley Beal and Erving Walker combined to go 12 of 23 shots from
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,” Rider coach Tommy 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
(1-9), which kept the game from getting out of hand in the second
half by making 6 of 12 3-point attempts.