FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
It sure wasn’t the prettiest, but a win is a win.
That should be the mindset of the No. 24 Florida Gators (6-2) after they escaped an upset bid from the Marshall Fighting Herd (2-4), winning 73-67.
The Gators were able to overcome a slow first half, which saw them facing an eight-point deficit at the break. It was a much better second half for the Gators, as they outscored Marshall by 14 to erase the halftime deficit.
Here is out Instant Analysis:
What Went Right: Whatever Mike White told the team at half-time certainly resonated with the Gatos as they came out a different team in the second. From the beginning of the second, the Gators were a different team, locking down defensively.
That then turned to the Gators finally getting it going offensively. After an abysmal 30% shooting performance in the first half, Florida shot 61% in the closing period to finish the game at 45%.
After being down by eight at the half, the Gators outscored Marshall 48-34 in the second half as they proved to be too much for The Herd to pull off the upset.
He Stole The Show: The Ques Glover breakout tour continued tonight as the freshman seemed to be the only Gator without a hangover from Thanksgiving in the first half. The reserve guard scored 10 in the opening half and finished with 14 points to lead all Gators.
It was another solid outing from Keyontae Johnson as well. The sophomore finished with 13 points, all coming in the second half.
Boy oh boy is Scottie Lewis fun to watch. The freshman was flying all over Exactech Arena Friday night on both sides of the court. Lewis blocked three shots, all of which in the emphatic variety. Offensively, Lewis added seven points and grabbed the same amount of rebounds.
These Numbers Don’t Lie: What an ugly first half of basketball it was for the Gators. Their first 20-minutes is surely a period the team will need to flush from their memory. Florida had arguably their worst offensive half thus far this year.
They finished the first half shooting just 30% from the field, which included clanking 10 three-pointers off the rim, not seeing a single one break the net. The Gators also turned the ball over six times in the first frame.
On top of that, they didn’t register a single assist in the first half. That’s no recipe for success and in college basketball, you have to be able to move the basketball. Florida finished with just four assists for the game.
Fortunately for the Gators, they were able to turn it around in the second half after a poor first half that nearly cost them the game.
The Bottom Line: After the Gators took several steps forward last week on their way to winning the Charleston Classic, it seems like the team took another step backwards tonight. They may have won, which is what it’s all about at the end of the day, but the Gators look real sloppy in doing so.
It’s no secret that entering tonight, Marshall was the inferior team. However that didn’t look to be the case until the Gators took over in the second half. Going forward, Florida needs to avoid slow starts at all costs, whether it’s against Marshall in a seemingly meaningless game in November, or against Kentucky in March.
Up Next: That wraps up the first month of the season for the Gators. Next, they’ll travel to face the Butler Bulldogs on Dec. 7 with tip set for noon. The teams met twice a year ago, splitting the series.
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