Horford, Noah spark Gators' rout of North Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida coach Billy Donovan expected a
letdown after the Gators played so well in the season opener last
week. He was pleased to see another beatdown.

Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Joakim Noah added 15
points and 10 rebounds and top-ranked Florida overwhelmed winless
North Florida 86-40 on Tuesday night.

"When you have both frontcourt players with a double-double
it's pretty good," Donovan said.

The defending national champions extended their winning streak
to 13 games and dominated for the second time in two games this

The Gators (2-0) shot 59 percent, had 16 assists, 12 offensive
rebounds, 12 blocks and just six turnovers against Samford in the
opener last week.

They were nearly as sharp against the Ospreys (0-3) despite a
sluggish start, shooting 54 percent and finishing with 21 assists,
16 offensive rebounds, seven blocks and seven turnovers.

"A lot of people keep talking about keeping them motivated,
keeping them hungry, keeping them focused," Donovan said. "Maybe
the first game was a little bit easier. This was a game you could
look at and think maybe there's going to be a little bit of a
letdown. But I thought our guys came in very focused and ready to

Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey had 12 apiece to give Florida
four starters in double figures.

The Gators had some faults in the first half, missing nine free
throws, going 1-of-6 from 3-point range and committing five
turnovers. But they quickly turned an 18-point halftime lead into a
rout by opening the second half with a 30-8 run.

Florida scored nearly every time down the floor and used a
full-court press to force North Florida into turnovers and poor

Horford and Noah had several dunks and layups in the decisive
run. Humphrey and Green combined for three 3-pointers. Corey Brewer
scored his only basket of the game and led the press.

"He was disruptive," Donovan said of Brewer. "He allowed us
to go on a great run in the second half."

Rashad Williams led the Ospreys with 21 points on 8-of-16

North Florida shot 31 percent and finished with 26 turnovers.

"I guess we got a taste of why they're the No. 1 team in the
nation," coach Matt Kilcullen said. "This is one of the best
shot-blocking teams I've ever seen. They come at you from all
angles, and it's not just one or two. They cover a lot of ground."

A lot of the UNF's problems related to being undersized; the
team doesn't have a single player over 6 feet, 8 inches. The
Gators, meanwhile, have three starters taller than that.

The result was Horford and Noah controlling the paint and the

"You've got to be somewhat realistic: there was nobody in the
frontcourt on their team that had the size and physicality of Al,"
Donovan said.

Fans headed to the exits with 7:57 to play and the Gators ahead
70-30. The starters headed to the bench with 6:41 remaining, giving
way to the backups and freshmen.

The best of the bunch was Marreese Speights, who had eight
points and four rebounds in 10 minutes.

"It's always good for them to get some playing time," Horford
said. "They work so hard in practice and it's very rewarding when
they can go in there and get some solid minutes."

The game was the first of four in eight days for the Gators -- a
tuneup for Nov. 24-25 games against Western Kentucky and Kansas in
Las Vegas.

"I don't think we're playing championship-caliber basketball,"
Noah said. "But I don't think anybody is right now."


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's Florida Gators Anthracite ELITE Stripe Performance Full-Zip HoodieShop