Rutgers 63

(3-1, 0-1 away)

Florida 88

(4-0, 4-0 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 17, 2007

    Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida

    1 2 T
    RUTG 33 3063
    FLA 48 4088

    Top Performers

    Rutgers: J. Inman 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Stl

    Florida: M. Speights 18 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Blk

    Florida 88, Rutgers 63

    Associated Press

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Billy Donovan's 300th victory came in typical "Billyball" fashion.

    Marreese Speights had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Jai Lucas added 15 points and Florida used up-tempo offense and lots of 3-pointers to beat Rutgers 88-63 Saturday night.

    "I feel very fortunate and blessed to be here at Florida, and still be able to be here," Donovan said. "When you look at those things, it's not really me and really I mean that. It doesn't happen without the University of Florida, without the administration and certainly without the players who played here. I really was fortunate to coach some really great kids."

    His latest group might just be talented, too.

    The Gators (4-0) closed the first half on a 17-2 run that turned a tie game into a double-digit lead, and the Scarlet Knights (3-1) never recovered.

    Speights had a dunk and a layup in the decisive spurt. He finished 9-of-15 from the floor, dominating the low post like Donovan challenged him to do last week.

    "I can do that," Speights said. "I finally got a dude taller or my same size, so I had an opportunity to show my offense, play good 'D' and rebound the ball against a big dude. I was happy about that."

    Dan Werner added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the two-time defending national champs. Walter Hodge had 14 points, and Nick Calathes finished with 11.

    The Gators extended their school record for consecutive home wins to 23, improved to 6-0 against Big East teams the last two seasons and finished unbeaten in the inaugural Blue Ribbon Challenge.

    Donovan, meanwhile, improved to 300-123 in 14 seasons at Marshall and Florida.

    This one came courtesy of the big run and a season-high 11 3-pointers. Hodge led the way, going 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Lucas was 3-of-7.

    The Scarlet Knights gave the Gators outside shots all game, choosing to follow the player cutting to the basket on pick-and-roll plays.

    Florida, playing its fourth game in nine days, finished 11-of-26 from behind the arc. The Gators shot 50 percent from the floor and had a 43-28 rebounding advantage.

    Rutgers was supposed to be Florida's toughest challenge of the season thus far, bringing a veteran-led team into the O'Connell Center that also had won its first three games in the round-robin tournament.

    The Scarlet Knights kept it close early and tied the game at 31 with about 6 minutes to play in the first half. But Florida's run changed everything.

    Chandler Parsons started it with a putback and later added a tip-in. Hodge had two 3-pointers, Lucas had one and Speights had two easy buckets that sent the O'Dome crowd into a frenzy. Rutgers never got closer than a dozen points the rest of the way.

    "I thought it was a great environment in there," Donovan said. "We finally were able to put together some possessions of stops and it led to some transition baskets for us. We made some 3s, got some stuff going to the rim, had a couple free throws, got a couple offensive rebounds. A lot of good things happened, but certainly the electricity in the building was phenomenal."

    JR Inman led the Scarlet Knights with 17 points and seven rebounds. He was 6-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Mike Coburn, Corey Chandler and Anthony Farmer added 10 points apiece.

    "I thought we ran out of gas," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "That's a team that has a lot of answers to the things that you try to do and certainly they wore us down in the end. They kept coming after us, wore us down a little bit and made some big shots."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 63 88
    FG Made-Attempted 26-58 (.448) 35-70 (.500)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-15 (.267) 11-26 (.423)
    FT Made-Attempted 7-12 (.583) 7-10 (.700)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (0/0) 12 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 26

    2007-08 Season

    » Nov 17, 2007 @FLA 88, RUTG 63Recap