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HOOPS: Gators trounce Aggies, extend winning streak(s)

 

GAINESVILLE -- No. 3 Florida destroyed Texas A&M 69-36 on Saturday, coasting to its 13th straight win following another defensive masterpiece.

The Gators continue to make a mockery of the Southeastern Conference, rolling through the cupcake-riddled league like a hot knife through butter.

At one point Saturday, Texas A&M trailed by more points (38) than it ultimately scored overall, as the Gators limited the Aggies to their lowest point total on the year.

Led by Michael Frazier II's 22 points and Dorian Finney-Smith 11 points and nine rebounds, the Gators breezed past a woeful Aggies bunch, who dropped their fifth-straight game.

"We're not the No. 3 team in the country for no reason," senior center Patric Young said.

Added Fraizer II: "It's scary because that I think there are still a lot of things we can get better at."

In front of another sellout crowd, Florida (19-2, 8-0 SEC) extended its school-record winning streak at home to 27 games.

Behind a dominating rebounding advantage (57-27) and a quick-closing permitter defense (A&M shot a woeful 20 percent from downtown), the Gators tied their school record for the fewest points allowed in conference play since 1950 -- matching last season's performance against South Carolina.

Florida didn't shoot the ball particularly well either -- just 41 percent -- but 25 second chance points (17 offensive rebounds) and a 20-point advantage in the paint erased the team's streaky long-range shooting.

Young, who played with relentless intensity all afternoon, capped his 22nd birthday with a near double-double (nine points, career-high 13 rebounds) but fell just short after missing his final three free throws. 

The senior's ridiculous follow-up jam was one of the few highlights in an otherwise ho-hum win.

 

"I thought Patric played exceptionally well today," coach Billy Donovan said. "I thought his energy was really, really good. I told him that I would tell him everyday was his birthday so he would play like that all the time."

Florida has won its first four SEC games inside the O'Dome by an average of 24.3 points.

Young said the Gators "dont really care" about the SEC's perception as a weak-hoops conference, before adding, "Our league is not the best but it's still a good league."

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