ARLINGTON, Texas — The Florida Gators were unsuccessful in their pursuit to advance to the school’s fourth national championship game after losing the UConn Huskies 63-53 in the 2014 national semifinal.
Florida started the game off in typical suffocating defensive fashion. It wasn’t until the 16:03 mark that the Huskies even registered their first points of the game. The driving lanes were scarce and the shots weren’t falling, at one point Florida led by as much as 12 points with a 16-4 margin. But then the Huskies roared to life with a 21-4 run to end the half. The Gators offense sputtered to the intermission, only scoring six points in the half’s final 9:48.
As the second half began, Florida’s comeback did not. The shots continued to miss their mark for the orange and blue, only scoring three points in the first 4:02 of the second half. They looked flat and UConn looked fast, aggressive and offensively potent.
As the game wore on the Gators battled back cutting a 10 point UConn lead to three with 7:40 left to go in the game, but it wasn’t enough for a determined UConn team that continued to make shots as the game wound down.
The Gators were led in scoring by Patric Young who had 19 points. Casey Prather led UF in rebounds with six and Scottie Wilbekin, Dorian Finney-Smith and Prayher topped the boxscore in assists with just one apiece.
Thanks to a concerted defensive effort to stop senior Shabazz Napier, DeAndre Daniels led the Huskies in points (20) while also leading in rebounds (10). Napier took the lead for UConn in assists (6).