While Florida has encountered nothing but trouble on the road
this season, the Gators remain undefeated on their home court.
Seeking a 14th consecutive victory at the O’Connell Center, No.
13 Florida concludes its non-conference schedule Tuesday night
The Gators (11-3), who fell 81-74 at then-No. 3 Ohio State on
Nov. 15 and 72-68 at then-No. 4 Syracuse on Dec. 2, dropped to 0-3
as the visiting team with an 85-83 double-overtime defeat to
Rutgers on Thursday.
Though Florida could be in for another tough test when it visits
Tennessee for Saturday’s SEC opener, coach Billy Donovan’s team
should have a good chance to keep rolling at home Tuesday given its
recent domination there.
The Gators have outscored opponents by an average of 20.6 points
during their run in Gainesville, which reached 13 with a 90-70 win
over Yale on Saturday. Florida shot 53.4 percent from the floor and
a season-high 57.1 percent (12 of 21) from 3-point range.
“I thought it was one of the best games we’ve played this year,”
Donovan said. “Coming out of the Rutgers game and as bad as we were
… and on a one-day prep, I was really proud of them.
“We’re figuring it out. They (players) are all getting
UAB coach Mike Davis has also seen plenty of improvement from
his team, which has won three straight and four of five following a
1-6 start. The Blazers have averaged 19.8 turnovers in the last six
contests, but they’ve shot 53.7 percent from the field and
outrebounded opponents 129-76 during their winning streak.
“We’re getting better,” Davis said. “We are still struggling
turning the ball over, but we certainly have more confidence
shooting the ball. We are rebounding the ball well. When you can do
those two things consistently, you are going to give yourself a
UAB (5-7) overcame 17 turnovers to post its highest scoring
output in almost a year in a 92-58 rout of Alabama A&M on
Saturday. Ovie Soko had a season-high 17 points and a career-best
15 rebounds while Cameron Moore, who leads the team 14.6 points per
game, scored 16 on 7-of-8 shooting to go along with nine
The Blazers are averaging just 49.2 points on the road, where
they opened 0-4 before defeating George Washington 56-49 on
Wednesday. Moore had 19 points and a school-record 24 rebounds.
UAB has committed 23 turnovers in each of its last three road
matchups and will likely need to take better care of the ball if it
hopes to keep up with Florida. The Gators, paced by junior Kenny
Boynton, rank in the top five in the nation with 85.9 points per
Boynton scored 26 for the second time in as many games Saturday
and shot 8 of 12 and 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. The guard is
shooting 50.6 percent on the season and 45.5 percent on 3s to rank
near the top of the conference in both categories.
“He’s efficient, he’s shooting a good percentage,” Donovan said.
“To me that’s the sign of a great scorer. There’s a lot of guys who
can score if they get a lot of shots.”
Florida and UAB have split their two meetings, with the then-No.
3 Gators winning 75-70 in the most recent matchup Dec. 30,
The Blazers have dropped 16 consecutive road matchups with Top
25 foes by an average of 14.8 points since knocking off then-No. 20
Marquette 65-52 on Jan. 7, 1998.