Nov. 23, 2007
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s young, rebuilt team was no match for Florida State’s athletic and experienced squad.
The two-time defending national champions had their 15-game winning streak snapped along with their school-record 24-game home winning streak.
The Seminoles (5-2) dominated from the opening tip, taking a 25-9 lead and never letting the Gators (5-1) back in the game.
Florida State had lost two of its last three games, falling to Cleveland State and South Florida in the past week. But coach Leonard Hamilton’s team hardly resembled the same team in the O’Connell Center.
The Seminoles — with two seniors and two juniors in the starting lineup — ran the floor better than Florida, contested nearly every shot and showed superior athleticism at both ends.
They got Florida center Marreese Speights in foul trouble early, then took advantage of his absence down low. The ‘Noles scored on dunks, layups, putbacks and fast breaks — basically every way imaginable around the basket.
Florida struggled shooting and trailed by as many as 19 in the first half, 29-10 following a 21-2 run, but trimmed the lead to 11 several times after the break.
But the Gators couldn’t get any closer, thanks mostly to Florida State’s 36 points in the paint and 15 on fast breaks. FSU also finished with a 39-28 rebounding advantage, had six steals and forced 12 turnovers.
Walter Hodge (11 points) and freshman Chandler Parsons (10) were the only Florida players in double figures.
Florida shot a season-low 39 percent from the field and was 4-of-23 from 3-point range.
The Seminoles weren’t much better, shooting 47 percent from the floor and finishing 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. But they made up for it by making seven more free throws and getting way more easy baskets.