No. 9 Florida beats Georgetown College 88-62
Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 9:39 p.m.
Florida had another hard time handling success in its exhibition finale Wednesday night.
The No. 9 Gators cruised to an 88-62 victory over Georgetown (Ky.) College at the O'Connell Center, but the win didn't come without an embarrassing moment for UF's five starters early in the second half.
Up 44-19 at halftime, Florida let Georgetown College creep back into the game with a quick 7-2 run to start the second half. Florida coach Billy Donovan didn't hesitate, yanking UF's entire returning starting five for three freshmen, sophomore Erik Murphy and walk-on Kyle McClanahan with 18:33 remaining.
"I guess you could say we were playing to the scoreboard a little bit," UF point guard Erving Walker said.
That didn't make Donovan happy.
"You want to be able to play well for the full 40 minutes," Donovan said. "We didn't match their intensity to start the second half. When I talk about things like leadership, battling adversity, you expect going into the first TV timeout, four minutes, you are up 25, you extend that lead 10 points and then you can say that your job is done and you can play the younger guys.
"That's what you expect a top-10 team to do and that's why I don't think we're a top-10 team."
Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton led three Florida players in double figures with 22 points, going 4-of-9 from 3-point range. Walker added 11 points, 7 assists and 6 steals. Vernon Macklin had 10 points, and Chandler Parsons nearly pulled off a triple-double with 9 points, 7 assists and 10 rebounds.
"Coach told us at halftime that they were going to come out with great intensity to start the second half," Parsons said. "For whatever reason, we didn't match that intensity."
After holding Georgetown to 32 percent from the field in the first half, Florida allowed the Panthers to shoot 53.1 percent from the field in the second half.
Florida's press was effective. Overall, the Gators forced 26 turnovers, but also had 20 of their own. UF's freshmen didn't play as much as they did in the first exhibition, but shined in spots. Patric Young had seven points, three rebounds and two blocked shots while taking two more charges. Casey Prather added four points, two steals and two blocks.
Donovan said he wouldn't hesitate to bench the starters again during the regular season if they came out with a similar lack of intensity.
"There was a huge difference in intensity with the way we came out to start the second half," Donovan said. "I really feel like that's something we're going to have to deal with with our team."
The Gators open the regular season on Nov. 12 when they host UNC-Wilmington at 7 p.m. in the O'Connell Center. The game will air on Sun Sports.