Florida runs away from Charleston Southern

Florida senior guard KeVaughn Allen goes for the basket Friday against Charleston Southern at the O'Connell Center. [Alan Youngblood/Gainesville Sun]

According to Florida junior Keith Stone, the Gator basketball team wasn’t motivated after its loss Tuesday night in Tallahassee.

“Not motivated, more humbled,” Stone said Friday night. “It made us see the big picture and see we’re not that great a team.”

Three nights after a blowout loss against Florida State, Florida put the defensive clamps on Charleston Southern in their home opener and rolled to a 76-46 win at the O-Dome as 10,072 watched.

The Florida defense held CSU without a field goal for a 11:20 stretch that started in the first half and finished almost midway through the second. During that stretch, the Buccaneers missed 19 consecutive shots.

“I’m pretty pleased with the way we played defensively,” said Florida coach Mike White. “I don’t think anyone was average to bad defensively. Everyone was pretty good.”

It started early with KeVaughn Allen getting a pair of steals, one that resulted in a layup. He finished the game with five steals, as Florida forced 19 turnovers in the game.

“I think KeVaughn Allen set the tone from the top,” White said. “I think he was our best player tonight.”

Allen led Florida (1-1) in scoring with 14 points while Deaundrae Ballard had 12 and Jalen Hudson a quiet 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting. Florida wasn’t always efficient offensively, making only 28.6 percent of their 3-point shots. But the Gators made up for it on the defensive end.

Charleston Southern (1-1) finished the game shooting 25.5 percent and 17.9 percent from three.

“When you can switch 1-through-5 and stay in front of our guards, that makes it difficult for us,” said CSU coach Barclay Radebaugh. “Teams don’t do that at our level.”

The Gators again substituted liberally with 10 players playing double-digit minutes. Freshman Andrew Nembhard played the most with 30 minutes and a solid stat line.

Nembhard scored seven points, had seven rebounds and six assists plus a pair of steals.

“We came out with a little more mature attitude,” Nembhard said of Florida’s bounce back from Tuesday night.

White called Nembhard’s performance “terrific.”

“He played much better than his stat line,” White said. “He didn’t make many mistakes.”

But it all started with Allen, the senior who was shut out Tuesday night against FSU.

He scored the first basket of the game on a pull-up jumper and had Florida’s first six points.

“When he gets going,” Stone said, “he gets the whole team going.”

The Gators will play next on Wednesday at home against LaSalle at 7 p.m.

FREE THROWS: Redshirt freshman Chase Johnson played in his first regular season game since early last year. Johnson, who missed most of last season because of two concussions, had a blocked shot, a rebound and a technical for shoving a CSU player. … Redshirt freshman Isaiah Stokes needed only 10 minutes to foul out. “I told him he’s going into the Guinness Book of Records,” White said. Stokes did have four points and an assist. … Florida made 16-of-22 free throws and had only eight turnovers in the game.


LeXander 1-8 0-0 2, McConico 1-8 0-0 3, Sellers 0-0 0-0 0, Keeling 5-17 6-10 18, Buskey 0-3 2-2 2, Jones 2-7 2-2 7, Price 0-1 1-2 1, Bowser 1-1 0-1 2, Shuler 4-9 2-3 11. Totals 14-54 13-20 46.


Stone 2-3 1-2 6, Hayes 2-2 1-1 5, Nembhard 2-7 2-2 7, Hudson 2-7 5-6 10, Allen 6-11 0-0 14, K.Johnson 2-5 2-2 6, Bassett 0-0 0-2 0, Stokes 1-1 2-2 4, C.Johnson 0-0 0-2 0, Okauru 1-3 2-2 4, Krause 0-0 0-0 0, Ballard 5-9 1-1 12, Fava 0-1 0-0 0, Locke 3-7 0-0 8. Totals 26-56 16-22 76.

Halftime_Florida 36-20. 3-Point Goals_Charleston Southern 5-27 (Keeling 2-7, Jones 1-2, Shuler 1-4, McConico 1-6, Price 0-1, Buskey 0-2, LeXander 0-5), Florida 8-28 (Allen 2-6, Locke 2-6, Stone 1-1, Nembhard 1-3, Ballard 1-4, Hudson 1-4, K.Johnson 0-1, Fava 0-1, Okauru 0-2). Fouled Out_Stokes. Rebounds_Charleston Southern 32 (McConico 9), Florida 36 (Nembhard 7). Assists_Charleston Southern 6 (Jones, Keeling 2), Florida 14 (Nembhard 6). Total Fouls_Charleston Southern 19, Florida 19. Technicals_C.Johnson.