GAINESVILLE -- Florida cruised its way to a winning record Friday night, thumping Texas Southern 75-50 in the O’Connell Center.
Freshman forward Devin Robinson led UF with a career-high 15 points, as five Gators (5-4) scored in double-figures in a balanced effort.
Chris Walker threw down a pair of thunderous alley-oops, finishing the night with 12 points, four blocks, two rebounds and several notable Sportscenter highlights.
Sharpshooter Michael Frazier II (11 points), center Jon Horford (10 points, six boards) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (11 points, seven rebounds) also registered noteworthy performances.
“I think our ball movement was very good. We’re taking the shots I like to see us take,” UF coach Billy Donovan said.
“We’re getting better production out of Devin. He’s getting a better feel how to play.”
Robinson -- who rolled his ankle in the second half but was able to return -- has altered his shooting mechanics and found his high-school stroke, shooting 2-of-3 from downtown Friday night and hitting six of his last 11 attempts from 3-point range.
“I needed to just calm down and stop forcing shots,” Robinson said. “Just stop, and listen to Coach.”
UF blitzed TSU (1-7) from the tipoff, opening the night on a 16-5 run including a 9-0 start.
The Gators led 39-22 at halftime, shooting 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.
The Tigers didn’t score until the 15:59 mark in the first half, and were just 4-for-14 with seven turnovers to start the game.
Florida led by as many as 25-points and held TSU to just 33 percent shooting, but a sloppy second half frustrated Donovan, as the Gators allowed constant penetration and too many offensive rebounds.
“We were not good defensively,” Donovan said, acknowledging the fortune in TSU’s “talent discrepancy.”
“They just missed shots.”
Still, the Gators throttled another mid-major and delivered another performance full of encouraging signs and offensive progress.
Robinson and Walker are playing with more confidence, while as a team, UF has found an offensive identity, sharing the basketball (19 assists) and playing with increased effort.
“We left some points out there, but we were pretty efficient,” Donovan said.
“Our unselfishness was pretty good.
THIS & THAT
Eli Carter played for the first time since Nov. 28, notching six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench. … Despite a significant size advantage, the Gators only outrebounded the Tigers 34-32. … UF had a 48-14 advantage in the paint. … Florida won consecutive games for the first time all season.
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