MEMPHIS, Tenn.– For the fifth time in school history, the University of Florida is Final Four bound after a 62-52 victory over the Dayton Flyers in the Elite Eight.
After a good start by the Gators, Dayton was able to take over during the middle of the first half until a late Florida run gave UF a 14-point halftime lead heading into the break.
Florida made five of its final seven before heading into the locker room for halftime including a dagger three-pointer by guard Scottie Wilbekin. The Gators did their best to match Dayton’s depth by playing 10 players in the first half, Dayton, renowned for its deep rotation played 11.
The Flyers were unable to put anything of substance together for most of the second half as Florida dropped the hammer and pulled away, at one point leading by as much as 17. It wasn’t exactly a smooth sail all the way to the finish though as Dayton made things exceedingly tough for Florida but the Gators hauled in offensive rebound after offensive rebound and was able to hold the Flyers off in the end.
The Gators were led in scoring by Wilbekin who had 22. Prather, Yeguete and Young led them in rebounds with 7 boards and Wilbekin topped the Florida box score in assists with 3.
The Flyers were led by guard Dyshawn Pierre who had 16 points. Forward Dyshawn Pierre led UD in assists with 5 and center Matt Kavanaugh led Dayton with 7 rebounds.
The Gators will advance to face the winner of Michigan St.-UConn in the national semifinal in North Texas.