Florida A&M 78

(0-4, 0-3 away)

(2) Florida 102

(3-0, 2-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 2, 2003

    Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida

    1 2 T
    FAMU 31 4778
    #2FLA 43 59102

    Front court bails out relaxed defense

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Coming off a big win, Billy Donovan got the letdown he more or less expected. It didn't matter much, because the opponent was Florida A&M.

    Anthony Roberson scored 20 points and Adrian Moss had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lift No. 2 Florida to a 102-78 victory over its overmatched opponent Tuesday night.

    The Gators (3-0) stayed perfect, four nights after their big 78-77 win over No. 7 Arizona. Matt Walsh, who keyed the Arizona win with 27 points, came back with 15 to celebrate his 21st birthday.

    But it was the 31 points by Terrance Woods of Florida A&M (0-4) that had Donovan so fired up.

    "We've got good enough defenders that guys shouldn't get 31 points against us," Donovan said.

    Florida gave up nine 3-pointers to Woods, whose 31 points were the most against the Gators at home since 1989. Demarcus Wilkins had four 3-pointers and 24 points.

    Donovan focused much of his wrath on the defensive effort of Roberson and the guards, who let Woods and Wilkins shoot at will.

    "The second half, coach got on me," Roberson said. "He talked to the whole team, but he basically came up to me and said my name and pointed me out."

    And while his defense didn't pick up noticeably, his offense sure did.

    After White made a 3 early in the second half to cut A&M's deficit to nine, Roberson answered with 11 points in a 14-3 run to turn the game into a runaway.

    Bonell Colas finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for Florida. He and Moss were among the few who drew praise from Donovan.

    "Thank God for our front court, because they played with energy," Donovan said.

    Walsh also had four rebounds and five assists. He was far from perfect -- he shot 4-for-12 -- and hit only one 3. But the highlight of his game was that single 3 -- a swish from the corner that gave Florida its 90th point, which won all the ticket-holders free hamburgers.

    David Lee had 12 points and six rebounds. He sat the second half after twisting his ankle, although Donovan said he wasn't sure whether it was the ankle or his ongoing troubles with leg cramps that kept him out. Lee has yet to play late in any of Florida's three games.

    Donovan said Lee's status for Florida's next game, Thursday against Central Florida, was in doubt. Also ailing was Christian Drejer, who had flu symptoms and scored eight points in 16 minutes.

    Florida A&M kept this game competitive for about 22 minutes, but a lack of height and depth did in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team, which has lost its last four games to Florida by an average of 46 points.

    "I'm playing with a 5-10 shooting guard and my backup point guard is a midget," FAMU coach Mike Gillespie said. "Halfway through the game, I went to press row and started asking guys if they had eligibility left."

    The Rattlers played without starting forward O.J. Sumter, who has a knee injury and could be lost for the season. Florida outrebounded Florida A&M 59-31.

    "O.J. would not have made a difference," Gillespie said. "He can rebound, but he's not Moses Malone."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

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