Nov. 19, 1999
By EDDIE PELLS
AP Sports Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Running and trapping in midseason form, No. 7
Florida opened its schedule Friday night by forcing 29 turnovers in a 96-61
victory over Florida State.
Udonis Haslem scored 18 points and Teddy Dupay and Mike Miller had 15 each
for the Gators, who enter this year with the highest expectations ever at what
has for decades been known as a football school.
Times are clearly changing.
In its first meeting at home since 1994 against its instate rival, the
Gators got off to an early start in front of a record crowd of 12,487.
They forced 19 turnovers to build a 52-31 halftime lead. Florida led by as
many as 37 in the second half.
Gators fans hoped to see similar success Saturday on the nearby football
field when No. 3 Florida took on top-ranked Florida State.
Florida’s basketball team, which made the regional semifinals of the NCAA
tournament last year, was expected to be better this year thanks to a season of
experience for sophomores Haslem, Dupay and Miller along with the arrival of
two new heralded freshmen, Donnell Harvey and Brett Nelson.
Harvey made an inauspicious entry into the game, slipping at the scorer’s
table, but had no such trouble on the court, finishing with 12 points and nine
Nelson backed up Dupay at point guard and finished with nine points and an
But more than their statistics, the Gators impressed by running the
fullcourt trap that coach Billy Donovan relies on.
Florida continuously harassed the Seminoles in their backcourt, and when
they did break the trap, they usually appeared rushed and confused.
Florida State’s leading scorer last year, Ron Hale, finished with 24 points
on 6-for-14 shooting.
Hale broke his nose in the first half when he caught an errant elbow from
Harvey. He also picked up a technical foul, when he took a frustrated swipe
with his foot at Florida’s Matt Bonner after a scramble for a loose ball.
The Seminoles, who finished 13-17 last season, got 13 points from Damous
Anderson. They shot just 32 percent from the field. Their 29 turnovers resulted
in 30 points for Florida.
The Gators should get a better test next week when they travel to Hawaii for
the Maui Invitational. Georgetown, Southern Cal, No. 5 North Carolina and No.
24 Purdue are among the eight teams in the field.