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Junior Lee Humphrey matched his career-high with six 3-point field goals and led UF with 19 points.

Saturday April 1, 2006M. Hoops Advances To National Championship Game With 73-58 Win Over George Mason

Indianapolis, IN

Junior Lee Humphrey matched his career-high with six 3-point field goals and led UF with 19 points.

No. 3 seed Florida advanced to the National Championship game for the second time in school history by defeating George Mason 73-58 at the RCA Dome on Saturday. Junior Lee Humphrey (Maryville, Tenn.) matched his career-high with six 3-point field goals and led the team with 19 points.

 

Humphrey drained his first 3-pointer 90 seconds into the game to put the Gators on the scoreboard, then stepped aside as the Gator front-court went to work dominating the glass. Florida out-rebounded the Patriots 40-27 during the game and had an 11-2 edge midway through the first-half.

 

Sophomore Al Horford (Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic) led the team with 13 boards, including six on the offensive glass. The Gators used 16 offensive rebounds to score 19 second-chance points.

 

With the Gators leading 31-26 at the halftime break, Humphrey sparked a 12-2 run to open the second-half by draining a trio 3-pointers within the first two minutes.

 

“I felt good the whole night shooting the ball,” Humphrey said. “Coach always does a great job of instilling confidence in me, showing that the team has confidence in me.”

 

Humphrey went on to make five 3-pointers in the second-half and helped the Gators lead by as much as 17 points.

 

Sophomore Corey Brewer (Portland, Tenn.) also had a strong night posting 19 points and six rebounds. Brewer found his stroke from behind the arch, making 3-of-6 shots. The Gators outscored George Mason 36-6 on 3-point field goals and tied for the second-most 3-pointers in a Final Four game with 12.

 

“I thought in the second half our ball movement offensive, we were able to work inside out,” Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. “Lee Humphrey shot it well. Taurean (Green) did a good job of running our team. We had a little better balance in the second half and we still continued to defend.”  

 

The Patriots managed to cut the Gator lead down to single digits with four minutes remaining, however, sophomore Taurean Green’s (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) consistent free throw shooting helped the Gators retain the lead down the stretch. Green made 6-of-6 shots from the charity stripe and finished the game with 15 points.

 

Sophomore Joakim Noah (New York, N.Y.) led the Gators’ defensive efforts with four blocked shots and eight rebounds. Florida held the Patriots to 18.2 percent shooting from 3-point range, which was key ingredient in their early round upsets over Michigan State, North Carolina and Connecticut. 

 

“Their (George Mason) shooting percentage over a four-game period went from 32.3 percent all the way up to 42 percent,” Donovan said. “It reminded me a lot of the Indiana team with Mike Davis who had a very similar jump from the three-point line. I’ve said this before, the 3-point line is the greatest equalizer in college basketball.”

 

Florida will appear in the championship game for the first time since the 2000 season, when the Gators played Michigan State at the RCA Dome. The Gators will face the winner between UCLA and LSU. Game time is scheduled for 9:21 (ET) at the RCA Dome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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