Florida Gators cruise past Fresno State at Orange Bowl Classic

12/22/2013 12:01 AM

12/22/2013 1:09 AM

Florida didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but when you can outrebound your opponent by 23, a few clanks here and there hardly matter.

The 16th-ranked Gators (9-2) defeated Fresno State 66-49 in the second game of the doubleheader at BB&T Center.

Florida made just 1 of 13 three-pointers in the first half, and the Gators went into the break with a narrow 23-19 lead. In the second half, UF took it to the rim more, attempting just five three-pointers and making four.

“It was a tale of two halves,” UF coach Billy Donovan said. “In the first half, we were out of sync. I think late in the first half, we were a little bit frustrated. In the second half, we had much more action at the rim.”

Senior wing Casey Prather led the Gators with 16 points, making 8 of 11 shots, mostly on drives. He did not attempt a three-pointer or a free throw.

Fresno State (6-6) was led by guard Cezar Guerrero, who made just 5 of 14 shots and had a game-high 17 points. Florida held Fresno State to 32 percent shooting overall, including 4 of 17 on three-pointers.

“I think our defense was consistent,” Donovan said. “I was proud of the way we defended.”

Guerrero credited Florida’s defense but also said the rims at the BB&T Center were problematic.

“The rims were really hard,” Guerrero said. “I looked at it as street-ball rims. You had to really make a swish to get it through the hoop.”

Donovan said senior forward Will Yeguete was the Gators’ most underrated player, scoring nine points and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.

“Will was awesome,” Donovan said. “He was active defensively getting loose balls. He made a lot of great plays.”

• Donovan said guard Kasey Hill was limited to 16 minutes due to an ankle injury. Donovan also said forward Patric Young, who grabbed nine rebounds in 27 minutes, did not start due to a knee injury.

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