No. 16 Florida races past Middle TennesseeNov 22, 2013 - 6:58 AM Gainesville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patric Young scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds and No. 16 Florida beat Middle Tennessee 79-59 on Thursday.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 14 points and six rebounds and Michael Frazier II scored 13 points for the Gators (4-1), who have won three straight since losing to Wisconsin on Nov. 12.
Neiko Hunter scored 14 and Jaqawn Raymond posted 13 points for the Blue Raiders (4-1), who were playing their first road game of the season.
Middle Tennessee went more than seven minutes in the first half without making a shot, but Florida also struggled.
A pair of free throws from Frazier gave the Gators a 10-5 lead. After Torin Walker countered with a jumper, Will Yeguete hit a 3 and a turnover from Walker saw Finney-Smith hit a layup for a 15-7 advantage.
The game stayed tight over the next several minutes, but a 7-2 run from the Gators helped them get some room and take a 34-26 lead into the break.
"I thought in first half we got really stagnant," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "The ball didn't move as well as it did in the second half."
Young's dunk started a 12-0 run that saw Florida grab a 49-30 advantage with 15 minutes to play.
"The start of the second half was disappointing," MTSU coach Kermit Davis said. "We didn't really compete and they got all the 50-50 balls."
The lead reached 20 before a pair of 3-pointers from Raymond got the Blue Raiders back to 14, but Frazier countered with two buckets, the second making it 56-38 with under 12 minutes left.
Florida built its lead as high as 24.
Florida shot 50 percent from the floor as all five starters scored in double figures ... Middle Tennessee made just 42.6 percent of its attempts ... The only other meeting between these schools came last season, a 66-45 victory for Florida.
- MIDDLE TENNESSEE: 59
Nov 21 9:50 PM
- MIDDLE TENNESSEE: 26
Nov 21 8:45 PM
- MIDDLE TENNESSEE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Nov 21 7:48 PM
- Virginia Tech guard Jalen Hudson transfers to Florida May 16
- Florida guard Francis-Ramirez transferring after 2 seasons May 4
- Florida's Devin Robinson out 4-6 months after foot surgery Apr 21
- Florida guard Walker plans to transfer after graduation Mar 28
- Middle Tennessee State sets sights on upset of Syracuse Mar 19
- Michigan State promises it won't overlook MTSU Mar 17
- Florida's Egbunu to have season-ending thumb surgery Mar 15
- Florida's Egbunu uncertain to play against UNF in NIT Mar 14
- Florida C Egbunu tears thumb ligament before SEC Tournament Mar 9
- Florida trying to rebuild NCAA resume at SEC Tournament Mar 7
- February freefall leaves Florida in need of Kentucky win Feb 29
- Potts out indefinitely with concussion for Middle Tennessee Feb 26