The Florida Gators basketball team bounced back Wednesday night from their first loss of the season beating the Southeastern Louisiana Lions 82-43. Behind Mike Rosario’s game and career high 20 points the Gators rebounded well from a difficult road loss to Arizona on Saturday night.
Rosario,who had been in head coach Billy Donovan’s doghouse since transferring in due to his tendency to play undisciplined, has been playing much better of late including scoring 16 points against Arizona. Donovan has taken notice.
“I think he has really conformed,” Donovan said. “He’s worked and I think it’s shown in his play. He’s much, much more disciplined, much more responsible, much more accountable.”
“I feel like I know what I’m getting from him from day to day. That’s the most difficult thing to deal with as a coach, when you have a talented player and you don’t know who’s showing up and who you’re going to get from day to day.”
“He’s kind of put it together, become more responsible, reliable, and accountable, and, because of it, I think he’s playing well.”
He finished with 20 points on 8-13 shooting from the field including 4-8 from three point range with 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Center Patric Young chipped in with 10 points and 5 rebounds, two steals, and one blocked shot. The only other double digit scorer for the Gators was reserve guard Michael Frazier who finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Kenny Boynton struggled once again for the Gators from the field finishing with 7 points on 1-7 shooting, all from three point range. He did however have 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals so he played well in other areas, he’s just in a shooting slump. Over the last four games, Boynton is 9-40 (22.5%) from the field and 3-27 (11%) from outside the three point arc.
Sophomore forward Will Yeguete had another solid outing pitching in 8 points and 4 rebounds as well as playing his usual brand of tough defense. He also was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line an area he struggled at last season.
Scottie Wilbekin continued his solid play tossing in 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, one steal, and one block. Casey Prather finished with 8 points and three steals off the bench for the Gators.
With the exception of a 2-2 tie two and a half minutes into the game, the Gators led throughout and were never really challenged. Donovan eventually unloaded the whole bench including walk-on Jacob Kurtz, a fan fave because his entrance signifies the game is well in hand.
The Lions were led in scoring by guard Brandon Fortenberry who had 15 points on 5-13 shooting. No one else finished with more than six points for Southeastern Louisiana who finished shooting a paltry 29% from the field and an even worse 14% from three point range on 3-21 shooting. The Lions were the sixth team this season that Florida has held under 50 points scoring.
The Gators shot well overall from the field at 49.1% hitting 28-57 shots although not quite so good from three point range hitting only 10-32 for 31.8%. They outrebounded the Lions 36-25 and held them to no offensive rebounds and no second chance points in the first half.
The Gators travel to Kansas City, Missouri this Saturday to take on Big 12 opponent Kansas State. Tip off is 8 pm eastern and will be broadcast on ESPN 2.