Dom­i­nant Ga­tors im­press their coach

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS THURSDAY - By De­nis P. Gor­man

NEW YORK — For the bet­ter part of two hours, Mike White had wit­nessed the kind of out­class­ing that makes coaches re­think their ca­reer paths.

And when it was over, he was sheep­ish. Bor­der­line speech­less, re­ally.

Not be­cause he was em­bar­rassed by his team’s per­for­mance. Rather, he was proud of the com­plete 40-minute ef­fort they put forth.

“It was one of those games,” White said af­ter Florida routed Prov­i­dence 83-51 Tues­day night in the sec­ond game of the in­au­gu­ral Air Force Re­serve Bas­ket­ball Hall of Fame In­vi­ta­tional.

“All teams I think this early in the season of course are find­ing them­selves, [and we’re] cer­tainly look­ing for sure but [we] took some steps tonight.”

That is an un­der­state­ment. Key­on­tae John­son was one of four Ga­tors (7-3) to fin­ish in dou­ble-fig­ure scor­ing. John­son led Florida with 19 points. Tre Mann con­trib­uted 13 points. Noah Locke chipped in with 11, and Ques Glover had 10. Florida has won five of six.

While the Ga­tors ap­pear to be rolling, Prov­i­dence (6-6) ap­pears to be stuck in neu­tral. The Fri­ars have al­ter­nated wins and losses in their last four games, and over­all have dropped four of six.

Al­pha Diallo led all scor­ers with 20 points. Nate Wat­son Jr. added 18.

“That was a long game,” said Prov­i­dence coach Ed Cooley.

The Ga­tors led through­out. Florida be­gan the game by outscor­ing the Fri­ars 22-10 in the first 10:07, and had a 37-22 lead at half­time.

Florida ex­tended its lead to as much as 32 in the sec­ond half as the Ga­tors were able to fin­ish at the rim seem­ingly at will. In a span of 4:16 early in the sec­ond half, Florida scored nine points, six of which came on a dunk and two layups.

“It wasn’t our best game,” Cooley said. “[Or] best day.”

With the out­come long de­ter­mined, the only ques­tions were whether Florida would set a season high in points scored and a season low in points al­lowed. The Ga­tors had scored 78 against Mi­ami on Nov. 22 while lim­it­ing the Hur­ri­canes to 58.

Late game: The UCF vs. Bethune-Cook­man game was not com­pleted in time for this edi­tion. Read the late game story in our eedi­tion at

web­site. or on our


Florida guard Noah Locke (10) cel­e­brates with team­mates af­ter the Ga­tors de­feated Prov­i­dence at Bar­clays Cen­ter on Tues­day night.

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