Freshman Walsh leads Gators with 29 points


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Matt Walsh didn't miss from long range.

Walsh shot 7-for-7 from 3-pointer range and finished with 29
points to lead Florida (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) to a 99-64 victory over
Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.

"I felt good coming out,'' Walsh said. "I was just getting
good shots. If I don't think I'm going to make a shot, I'm not
going to shoot it.''

Anthony Roberson added 22 points in a reserve role for Florida
(10-2), which was coming off a lackluster 74-62 victory over
Charleston Southern on Monday.

"I really don't care how coach uses me,'' Roberson said.
"Whenever coach puts me in, I know I've got to bring energy and
bring my game to another level. I've got the role coming off the
bench and I'm loving it right now.''

The Gators have won 35 consecutive home games against
non-conference opponents and improved to 28-2 in December over the
past three seasons.

"Coming into this game, I was concerned, but we came out with
great energy,'' Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We shot the
ball better from the 3-point line, we pressed a little bit better
and I think we got better with our half court defense.''

Richard Toussaint had 15 points for Bethune-Cookman (1-5), which
lost its fifth straight game to Florida. The Wildcats turned the
ball over 26 times.

"They are aggressive,'' Toussaint said. "They don't stop
coming after you and they are really quick. They are going to give
a lot of opponents trouble throughout the season.''

Walsh scored 17 points in the first half as Florida built a
55-32 lead by the break.

Walsh made three consecutive 3s in the opening three minutes of
the second half as Florida extended its lead to 64-37.

"The third one, I was feeling it,'' Walsh said.

Brett Nelson hit a 3-pointer and Roberson added a jumper during
a 9-0 run as Florida stretched its lead to 87-51 with seven minutes

Walsh scored 11 points in a 15-2 run that put Florida ahead 21-8
six minutes into the game. He had two three-point plays, hit a
3-pointer and added a layup.

Maurice Riddick made two 3-pointers to help Bethune-Cookman
close within 23-17.

Florida used a 12-3 run to push its lead to 35-20 at the
12-minute mark of the first half.

"You have to give Florida credit,'' Bethune-Cookman coach
Clifford Reed said. "They try to pressure you into making
mistakes. We could have given up when we got down early, but we
kept battling. There are some positives that we can take away from
this game.''