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Men's Basketball Headline

Thursday November 21, 2013Florida 79, Middle Tennessee State 59 (instant analysis)

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer

Score 79, Middle Tennessee State 59

WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators navigated tough circumstances against a battled-tested, mid-major team that’s won 55 games the last two seasons, with an NIT berth in 2012 and NCAA bid in 2013. It was not pretty in the first half (36 percent from floor, just 2 assists), but the Gators managed to open up the game to the pace they like in the second half and divided playmaker duties with Kasey Hill sidelined with an ankle injury and Scottie Wilbekin still on the suspended list.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sophomore DeVon Walker, a swing guard by trade, started at the point and finished with an efficient 10 points and played extended minutes with Casey Prather in first-half foul trouble. Dorian Finney-Smith, the 6-8 sophomore played “point forward” off the bench, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds. He had just one assist, but he initiated offense. That was Coach Billy Donovan’s goal.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: Florida continues to shoot the ball well at the free-throw line. The Gators went 25 of 30 for 83.3 percent.

SUBPLOT: Everybody wants to know when Scottie will be back? And Donovan will address it.

UP NEXT: The Gators (4-1) are on the road Monday night at Jacksonville. The Dolphins are 1-3, including losses at Florida State and Wake Forest, with a game Saturday against Florida A&M.


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