No. 6 Wildcats held down by Florida 57-44
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Kenny Boynton rediscovered his shooting touch, while the Kansas State Wildcats misplaced theirs.
Boynton shook a slump with 15 points Saturday for the Florida Gators, who held No. 6 Kansas State to 27 percent shooting for a 57-44 victory in the one-day Orange Bowl Classic.
Boynton had missed 18 of 21 attempts in his past two games.
"To get the shots to fall, it felt good," he said.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats went cold. They missed 19 of 20 during one stretch, and their point total was their lowest in Frank Martin's five seasons as coach.
"We were executing and getting shots and doing the things we talked about trying to do, and the ball didn't go in the basket," Martin said. "And then it broke our spirit."
After the Gators fell behind 20-8, they outscored Kansas State 42-13 to take control. Boynton went 6 for 12 from the field and was voted the game's most valuable player.
Florida (8-2) ended a streak of 14 consecutive December victories for Kansas State (9-2) dating to 2008.
"It's a great win," Gators coach Billy Donovan said. "That's a team everybody has a lot of respect for. But it's only one win."
The result meant an unhappy homecoming for Martin, who grew up in nearby Miami, and two players who have South Florida roots -- Martavious Irving and Freddy Asprilla. Martin said he was nonetheless grateful for the chance to make the trip.
"It's something I'll remember the rest of my life," he said.
Kansas State made only one basket during a span of 18 minutes midway through the game, as Florida rallied to take a 36-27 lead. Three consecutive baskets by Boynton -- two of them 3-pointers -- boosted the margin to 50-33 with 6 minutes left.
"It was certainly good to see Kenny Boynton do what he did in the second half," Donovan said. "He opened up the game."
Erving Walker added 13 points for the Gators, who won despite tying a season-high with 18 turnovers. Vernon Macklin had 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Gators shot 60 percent in the second half, when they scored the first eight points to surge ahead.
"All season we've had problems coming out in the second half with intensity," Boynton said. "We just wanted to come out and build our lead."
"In the second half we played like the team we should be playing like the whole year," teammate Chandler Parsons said.
Jacob Pullen had 19 points to lead Kansas State in scoring for the ninth time this season, but he shot only 6 for 17. The rest of the starting lineup went 3 for 18, and the entire team went 3 for 19 from 3-point range.
The Wildcats' scoring total was their lowest since a 57-42 loss to Nebraska in January 2006.
"We did a lot of things to hurt ourselves," Pullen said. "We missed a lot of easy shots. Defensively we were getting lost. We didn't stick to our game plan. Toward the end of the game we fell apart with it."
The Gators committed six turnovers and missed four shots before they finally scored 7 minutes into the game after falling behind 9-0. Pullen's 3-pointer built the Wildcats' lead to 20-8, but they went 1 for 10 over the final 9 minutes of the half and led only 23-20 at halftime.
Then the Wildcats missed their first 10 shots of the second half.
"They actually got decent shots," Donovan said. "I can't say our defense was that stifling that they couldn't get shots off. They missed a lot of stuff around the basket."
The Wildcats had won their past five games, but Martin said they haven't been playing well lately.
"We will regroup," he said, "or guys won't be wearing our uniform."
Updated December 18, 2010