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Gators Over Gophers: Florida Downs Minnesota, Advances to Sweet 16

Updated: Monday, March 25 2013, 01:03 AM CDT

Mike Rosario scored 25 points and Florida used an overpowering first half to roll past Minnesota and into the NCAA tournament round of 16 for third consecutive year with a 78-64 win Sunday in the South Regional.

The No. 3 seed Gators (28-7) shot a blistering 65 percent in the first half and led by 21 by halftime. The win earns Florida a return trip to the Lone Star State to play their next game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Andre Hollins scored 25 points to lead the No. 11-seed Gophers (21-13). Hollins' 3-point shooting sparked a second-half rally that pulled Minnesota within seven points, but Rosario's sixth 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pushed the Gators' lead back to 16 and effectively locked up the win.

The rematch of old coaching rivals Billy Donovan of Florida and Tubby Smith of Minnesota looked for a while like it would be a laugher.

Donovan's Gators rode into the tournament as one of the best defensive teams in the country and backed that up in their first two games of the tournament. After thrashing Northwestern State, the Gators shoved aside the Gophers of the Big Ten in a 20-minute show of muscle and offensive firepower.

Rosario was 8 of 12 shooting overall and 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.

Defensively, the Gators denied just about everything the Gophers tried in the first half. Florida tied up Gophers shooters at the perimeter, challenged layups and blocked a dunk when Casey Prather stuffed Minnesota's muscular Trevor Mbakwe in a clear statement that Florida would be as tough as anything the Gophers faced in the Big Ten.

Offensively, it seemed like Florida shooters couldn't miss. Rosario made four 3-pointers and Erik Murphy delivered a dagger when he buried one from the right corner to put Florida up by 22 with 5 minutes left in half. Minnesota gathered itself for a brief burst when Hollins knocked down consecutive 3-pointers and a steal and layup trimmed Florida's lead to 39-23.

If the Gophers could have pulled within 10 by halftme, they might have been able to grab a lead at some point in the second. Instead, the Gators scored nine straight points, getting another 3-pointer from Murphy to roll into the locker room leading 48-27 and the "Gator Chomp" was sounding ominous even 1,000 miles away from home.

Minnesota wasn't ready to roll over just yet.

Hollins, who scored 53 points in two games, made three 3-pointers in an 11-2 run that took some of the swagger out of the Gators. Minnesota kept chipping away and trimmed the Florida lead to 53-46 with 12 minutes left.

But Hollins soon picked up his fourth foul and went to the bench. The Gophers had lost their first shooting option and by the time he returned, the Gators had built the lead back to 12 before a 7-0 run all but closed it out.

Murphy scored 15 for Florida and Scottie Wilbekin scored 12 to go with six assists for the Gators.Gators Over Gophers: Florida Downs Minnesota, Advances to Sweet 16


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Scores & Schedules

February 28, 2015 08:07 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

NBA

Friday's Games

Philadelphia 89, Washington 81

Indiana 93, Cleveland 86

Atlanta 95, Orlando 88

Golden State 113, Toronto 89

New York 121, Detroit 115,2OT

Boston 106, Charlotte 98

New Orleans 104, Miami 102

Chicago 96, Minnesota 89

Houston 102, Brooklyn 98

L.A. Clippers 97, Memphis 79

Utah 104, Denver 82

San Antonio 107, Sacramento 96

L.A. Lakers 101, Milwaukee 93

Portland 115, Oklahoma City 112

Saturday's Games

Detroit at Washington, 7 p.m.

Atlanta at Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Toronto at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Brooklyn at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

San Antonio at Phoenix, 9 p.m.

Milwaukee at Utah, 9 p.m.

NHL

Friday's Games

Colorado 5, Dallas 4, SO

Boston 3, New Jersey 2, OT

N.Y. Islanders 2, Calgary 1

Carolina 3, Washington 0

Tampa Bay 4, Chicago 0

Anaheim 4, Los Angeles 2

Saturday's Games

Buffalo at Florida, 3 p.m.

Detroit at Nashville, 3 p.m.

Carolina at N.Y. Islanders, 5 p.m.

New Jersey at Columbus, 5 p.m.

Arizona at Boston, 5:30 p.m.

Toronto at Montreal, 7 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Philadelphia, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Colorado, 10 p.m.

St. Louis at Edmonton, 10 p.m.

Ottawa at San Jose, 10 p.m.

TOP-25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday

No games scheduled

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky vs. (18) Arkansas, 4 p.m.

( 2) Virginia vs. Virginia Tech, 4 p.m.

( 3) Gonzaga vs. BYU, 10 p.m.

( 4) Duke vs. Syracuse, 7 p.m.

( 6) Villanova at Xavier, 2 p.m.

( 7) Arizona at (13) Utah, 9 p.m.

( 8) Kansas vs. Texas, 5 p.m.

(10) Northern Iowa at (11) Wichita State, 2 p.m.

(12) Iowa State at Kansas State, 4 p.m.

(14) Maryland vs. Michigan, Noon

(15) North Carolina at Miami, 2 p.m.

(16) Oklahoma vs. TCU, 2 p.m.

(17) Louisville at Florida State, Noon

(19) Baylor vs. (20) West Virginia, 4 p.m.

(22) VCU vs. Dayton, 2 p.m.

(23) Butler at DePaul, 2 p.m.

(24) San Diego State vs. Boise State, 8 p.m.

TOP-25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Friday's Games

(10) Arizona St. 46, Utah 42

(14) Princeton 67, Yale 49

Saturday's Games

( 1) UConn vs. Memphis, 2 p.m.

( 3) Baylor at Iowa State, 4 p.m.

( 7) Oregon State vs. California, 6 p.m.

(14) Princeton vs. Brown, 6 p.m.

(18) Chattanooga vs. ETSU, 2 p.m.

(21) Florida Gulf Coast vs. Jacksonville, 7 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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