No. 16 Florida races past Middle Tennessee
Gainesville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patric Young scored 16 points and pulled down six rebounds and No. 16 Florida beat Middle Tennessee 79-59 on Thursday.
Dorian Finney-Smith had 14 points and six rebounds and Michael Frazier II scored 13 points for the Gators (4-1), who have won three straight since losing to Wisconsin on Nov. 12.
Neiko Hunter scored 14 and Jaqawn Raymond posted 13 points for the Blue Raiders (4-1), who were playing their first road game of the season.
Middle Tennessee went more than seven minutes in the first half without making a shot, but Florida also struggled.
A pair of free throws from Frazier gave the Gators a 10-5 lead. After Torin Walker countered with a jumper, Will Yeguete hit a 3 and a turnover from Walker saw Finney-Smith hit a layup for a 15-7 advantage.
The game stayed tight over the next several minutes, but a 7-2 run from the Gators helped them get some room and take a 34-26 lead into the break.
"I thought in first half we got really stagnant," Florida head coach Billy Donovan said. "The ball didn't move as well as it did in the second half."
Young's dunk started a 12-0 run that saw Florida grab a 49-30 advantage with 15 minutes to play.
"The start of the second half was disappointing," MTSU coach Kermit Davis said. "We didn't really compete and they got all the 50-50 balls."
The lead reached 20 before a pair of 3-pointers from Raymond got the Blue Raiders back to 14, but Frazier countered with two buckets, the second making it 56-38 with under 12 minutes left.
Florida built its lead as high as 24.
Florida shot 50 percent from the floor as all five starters scored in double figures ... Middle Tennessee made just 42.6 percent of its attempts ... The only other meeting between these schools came last season, a 66-45 victory for Florida.
11/22 01:58:10 ET