Basketball · Winter Sports

#8 Florida defeats UNF with balanced offensive effort, defensive intensity

FINAL: FLORIDA 108, NORTH FLORIDA 68

1st 2nd OT FINAL
UNF 23 45 X 68
FLORIDA 45 63 X 108

GAINESVILLE, FL- The #8 Florida Gators used a balanced offensive effort to defeat the North Florida Ospreys 108-68 on Thursday. Florida had six scorers in double figures on the day and for the first time since 2003 the Gators surpassed one hundred points in back-to-back games.

Florida junior KeVaughn Allen led Florida with 18 points on 6-10 from the field including 4-7 from behind the three-point arc. Allen started the game hot as he scored the Gators first basket less than a minute into the game. Allen finished with just nine points in the season opening victory over Gardner-Webb on Monday and told SEC Network after the game that he just had to continue to be aggressive.

The Gators shot 53% from the field including 11-25 on trey attempts and outrebounded the Ospreys 49-31. Florida’s defense remained stifling, forcing North Florida into 17 turnovers and allowing the fast-tempo of the Ospreys to only shoot 38%.

For the second straight game Florida was able to empty their entire bench including former managers turned walk-ons Andrew Fava and Mak Krause. Both players managed to score in the contest, to which they received thunderous applause from the crowd and the Gators bench.

Florida was led by Keith Stone (14), Egor Koulechov (13), Gorjok Gak (12), DeAundrae Ballard (12), and Jalen Hudson (12) in addition to Allen’s effort. Koulechov finished with a double-double following his historic debut on Monday, finishing with a team leading 10 rebounds. Senior Chris Chiozza finished with 7 assists while only accounting for two turnovers.

Gak, making his first career start, finished with 12 points while going 4-4 from the field in only ten minutes of action. Perhaps the most important player for Florida until senior John Egbunu returns from an injury in January, Gak has come a long way since debuting for Florida last year. Gak has added weight to his 6-11 frame and has clearly gotten better at the fundamentals, including free-throw shooting. Last season, Gak went 1-10 from the charity stripe. On Thursday, Gak hit all four of his free-throw attempts.

Florida is 2-0 and will face New Hampshire at Exactech Arena on Sunday at 6:00 PM.

RECORDS:

  • NORTH FLORIDA: 0-4
  • FLORIDA: 2-0

Team Stats:

UNF FLORIDA
FG % 38 53
3-PT % 25 44
FT % 73 65
Offensive Rebounds 9 19
Total Rebounds 31 49
Assists 10 24
Steals 1 13
Blocks 1 4
Turnovers 17 7

What’s Next:

Florida will face New Hampshire (1-1) on Sunday at Exactech Arena. The Wildcats defeated Wheelock College in their opener last Friday 95-39, but fell to Texas 78-60 on Tuesday. Vermont is led by forward Tanner Leissner who is averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Florida vs New Hampshire

November 19, 2017

7:00 PM / Exactech Arena

SEC Network

(Photo via AP Images, taken in December 2016)

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