Rich nets 20 as Florida State hands Florida first loss

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's young, rebuilt roster was no match for Florida State's athletic, experienced squad.

Jason Rich had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Toney Douglas added 10 points and the Seminoles beat the Gators (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) 65-51 on Friday night.

"Jason did a nice job stepping up and playing a complete game," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "He played with an energy and kind of led the way for our team, set the tone for the other guys."

The Seminoles (5-2) dominated from the opening tip, taking a 25-9 lead and never letting the Gators (5-1) back in the game.

The two-time defending national champions had their 15-game winning streak snapped along with their school-record 24-game home winning streak. It was Florida's worst loss since falling 75-60 to Manhattan in the first round of the 2004 NCAA tournament.

Florida State had lost two of its last three games, surprisingly falling to Cleveland State and South Florida in the past week. But Hamilton's team hardly looked the same in the O'Connell Center, where FSU won for the first time since 1992.

The Seminoles -- with two seniors and two juniors in the starting lineup -- ran the floor better than Florida, contested nearly every shot and showed superior athleticism at both ends.

They got Florida center Marreese Speights in foul trouble early, then took advantage of his absence down low.

"I thought that really made the difference, him not being able to get in the type of rhythm he would like to," Hamilton said. "He's a handful on the block there and just him getting a couple of fouls early probably made the biggest difference in the game."

The 'Noles scored on dunks, layups, putbacks and fast breaks -- basically every way imaginable around the basket.

"We got outworked down low," Florida freshman Chandler Parsons said. "Our guards got blown by. It was an all-around bad game for us."

Florida's biggest problem was poor shooting. The Gators trailed by as many as 19 in the first half -- it was 29-10 following a 21-2 run -- but they trimmed the lead to 11 several times after the break.

Still, they couldn't get any closer, thanks mostly to Florida State's 36 points in the paint and 15 on fast breaks. FSU also finished with a 39-28 rebounding advantage, had six steals and forced 12 turnovers.

"There's no question our lack of offense affected our energy on defense and we did not have the maturity or the mental toughness to battle through a woeful shooting night and have that internal fortitude to find a way to get stops and make the game ugly, a low-scoring game and find a way to at least keep it close," Gators coach Billy Donovan said.

Walter Hodge (11 points) and Parsons (10) were the only Florida players in double figures.

Florida shot a season-low 39 percent from the field and was 4-of-23 from 3-point range.

The Seminoles weren't much better, shooting 47 percent from the floor and finishing 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. But they made up for it by making seven more free throws and getting way more easy baskets.

"Some of the stuff that happened for us the first five games was a little bit of fool's gold," Donovan said. "We made some shots and things went well for us offensively. When things go well for you offensively, it's a lot easier to play defense, block out and rebound.

"But when it's one of those games where you got to bang and tussle and go back and forth, they've got to understand the grind of the game and be able to do other things to put ourselves in a position to win."

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