On the 9th day of Gators Christmas
EDITOR'S NOTE: GatorCountry.com is counting down the top moments in Florida Gators' athletics from this year in a 10-part series that will culminate on Dec. 23 with the announcement of the No. 1 moment of 2012.
The Florida Gators men’s basketball team has been in the Elite 8 for the past two years.
But last season’s Sweet 16 game against Marquette in Arizona was a game the Gators controlled from the opening tip and never let up.
Unlike most games, the Gators didn’t win the game with their three point shooting, as they only shot 25.9 percent from the perimeter.
Though the three-point shots weren’t following, freshman Bradley Beal marked his named in Gators history by scoring a game-high 21 points in the win.
This game showed NBA scouts a lot about Beal who went on to be a first round draft pick. Beal’s body of work was impressive, but his efforts to lead Florida past a talented Marquette squad surely helped his case a great deal.
Beal and the rest of the Gators found ways to score around the basket in the lane, something Gators coach Billy Donovan credited to the win.
“Certain teams have great length and great size and can control the ball on the blocks and just play from there,” Donovan said.
“We’re not that kind of team. Marquette’s not that kind of team. So you’ve got to find ways to manufacture points in and around the lane, and the best way for us to do that is by driving it down the lane and kicking it out or getting fouled or trying to finish at the rim.”
Florida took a six-point lead into halftime and pushed it to 14 at one point during the second half, but Marquette didn’t go away easy.
Marquette cut the Gators lead to six late in the second half.
But that is when Florida put the game away for good.
The Gators hit 7-8 free throws in the second half and senior point guard Erving Walker hit a three late in the second half that pushed the lead back to nine points to seal the victory for Florida.
Florida advanced to the Elite 8 with a 68-58 victory over Marquette, but the Gators would go on to lose to Louisville in the Elite 8 and end their season.
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2014 Football Commits
|Davidson (NC) Day|
|Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County|
|Jacksonville (Fla). Raines|
|Deland (Fla.) High|
|New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine|
|Miami (Fla.) Central|
|Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas|
2013 Basketball Commits
|Clermont (Fla.) Montverde Academy|
|Bonifay (Fla) Holmes County|
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