Gainesville, FL- The Florida Gators avenged an early season loss with one of their most dominant performances of the year.
Florida defeated Butler 77-43 and opened the game on a 21-0 run. Butler topped the Gators in the fifth place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis back in November
In contrast to the beginning of the season, head coach Mike White has finally found his consistent scoring threat in Freshman Noah Locke. Locke has earned his way into a starting spot and has drained five treys in each of his last two games. His scoring average continues to climb, as it sits at 9.2 heading into the matchup.
From the opening tip, Florida had the game in their hands and never looked back, as the Gators posted their best half of play all season. A 21-0 run to open the game was enough for the Gators to kill any Butler hope that was even left. Heading into the halftime break, Florida had shot a whopping 64% on 18-28 shooting from the field including going 6-9 from three point range. In contrast, the Bulldogs shot an atrocious 28% in the first half and was held to just 18 points, as the Gators put up 43.
This is by far the best game Florida has played this year, defensively they were incredible, holding the opposing Bulldogs to 30% shooting in the game and even outrebounded Butler 46-18. The Gators were anchored by Kevarrius Hayes who lead the game with three blocks in the contest. Offensively, the Gators were led by a balanced attack as five different players scored in double digits. Florida was led by Keith Stone and Locke, as both posted 12 points.
Revenge is sweet, and the Gators got what they wanted, a rematch with Butler and they took advantage of them. Florida moves to 8-4 on the season as the team heads into SEC play. The Gators will face Frank Martin‘s South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, January 5, at the Exactech Arena.
Stone – 12 points, 6 rebounds
Allen – 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
K. Johnson – 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks
Nembhard – 7 points, 3 assists
Hudson – 11 points, 7 rebounds
Hayes – 4 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals
Locke – 12 points, 5 rebounds
Basset – 6 points, 4 rebounds
Baldwin – 9 points, 3 rebounds
Tucker – 8 points