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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

January 25, 2015 08:10 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

NBA

Saturday's Games

Charlotte 76, New York 71

Milwaukee 101, Detroit 86

Memphis 101, Philadelphia 83

Utah 108, Brooklyn 73

Portland 103, Washington 96

Sunday's Games

Miami at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Oklahoma City at Cleveland, 3:30 p.m.

L.A. Clippers at Phoenix, 6 p.m.

Dallas at New Orleans, 6 p.m.

Minnesota at Atlanta, 6 p.m.

Indiana at Orlando, 6 p.m.

Milwaukee at San Antonio, 7 p.m.

Detroit at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Boston at Golden State, 8 p.m.

Washington at Denver, 8 p.m.

Houston at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.

TOP 25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky 58, South Carolina 43

( 3) Gonzaga 91, Pacific 60

( 6) Wisconsin 69, Michigan 64, OT

( 7) Arizona 73, California 50

Texas Tech 78, ( 9) Iowa St. 73

(11) Kansas 75, (17) Texas 62

(15) North Carolina 78, Florida St. 74

(18) West Virginia 86, TCU 85, OT

(21) Baylor 69, (19) Oklahoma 58

(22) Dayton 63, Richmond 60

Purdue 67, (25) Iowa 63

Sunday's Games

( 2) Virginia at Virginia Tech, 1 p.m.

( 4) Villanova vs. Creighton, 7 p.m.

( 5) Duke vs. St. John's at Madison Square Garden, 2 p.m.

( 8) Notre Dame at N.C. State, 6:30 p.m.

(10) Louisville at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m.

(12) Utah vs. Washington, 8:30 p.m.

(13) Maryland vs. Northwestern, 7:30 p.m.

(14) Wichita State vs. Drake, 1 p.m.

(20) Northern Iowa at Illinois State, 4 p.m.

(23) Indiana at Ohio State, 1:30 p.m.

(24) Seton Hall at Butler, 3 p.m.

TOP 25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Saturday's Games

( 3) Baylor 68, Kansas St. 46

( 6) Notre Dame 74, Clemson 36

UTSA 64, (24) W. Kentucky 63

Sunday's Games

( 2) UConn at Cincinnati, 3 p.m.

( 4) Louisville vs. Miami, 5 p.m.

( 5) Tennessee vs. (22) Georgia, 2 p.m.

( 7) Maryland at Indiana, 3 p.m.

( 8) Texas vs. Iowa State, 4:30 p.m.

( 9) Oregon State at (13) Arizona State, 4 p.m.

(11) Stanford at Southern Cal, 8 p.m.

(12) North Carolina vs. (15) Duke, 5 p.m.

(14) Kentucky at Missouri, 4 p.m.

(17) Florida State vs. Wake Forest, 2 p.m.

(21) Minnesota at (25) Rutgers, 5:15 p.m.

(23) Syracuse vs. N.C. State, 3 p.m.

NFL

Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday's Game

AFC vs. NFC Pro Bowl at Glendale, Ariz., 8 p.m.

NHL

Saturday

No games scheduled

Sunday's Game

All-Star game at Columbus, Ohio, 5 p.m.

Longhorn Football Scoreboard

Longhorn Football News

 

KEYE-TV Sports Team


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