#3 Gators crush Texas A&M; 69-36

The win is the 27th straight in the O'Connell Center for Florida

Author: Matt Kingston, Sports producer, mkingsto@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 01 2014 06:15:47 PM EST
Florida Gators Basketball
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -

Michael Frazier II scored 22 points, Dorian Finney-Smith added 11 and No. 3 Florida overwhelmed Texas A&M 69-36 on Saturday.
   
The Gators (19-2, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) pushed their winning streak to 13 games and extended a school record for consecutive home wins to 27.
   
The latest one was another defensive gem. It tied the fewest points Florida has allowed in SEC play since 1950, matching last year's defensive effort against South Carolina.
   
Florida held the Aggies (12-9, 3-5) to 26 percent shooting and 20 percent from 3-point range. The Gators also outrebounded Texas A&M 57-27.
   
The Gators closed the first half with a 12-2 run that turned a seven-point lead into a double-digit advantage. They were up 34-17 at the break, and the lead would have been bigger had they hadn't missed 11 of 12 shots from behind the arc.
   
Coach Billy Donovan's team found its long-range rhythm early in the second half, with Frazier and Scottie Wilbekin each connecting from behind the arc, and Florida really started pulling away. Frazier's second trey made it 53-24 with 12:27 to play.
   
The Gators coasted from there, improving to 9-1 in Saturday games that followed Thursday night tilts.
   
Donovan used just seven players for most of the game, even with leading scorer Casey Prather still hobbled by a sprained ankle. Prather missed practice Friday and wasn't in the starting lineup. He finished with seven points.
   
Texas A&M also benched its leading scorer, Jamal Jones, for undisclosed reasons. Jones came off the bench about 3 minutes into the game, but didn't make a difference. He had seven points on 2-of-11 shooting. None of his teammates reached double figures.
   
The Aggies were down 38 points when Donovan emptied his bench.
   
About the only thing worth watching down the stretch was senior center Patric Young chase his first double-double of the season.
   
Young finished with nine points and 14 rebounds on his 22nd birthday. He had several chances to reach double figures in scoring, but missed his final three free throws. He missed the second of two with 9:33 to play - someone yelled just as he started to shoot - and then missed twice with 7:47 remaining. Donovan pulled him with 5:51 left and the game well in hand.
   
The Gators return to the court Tuesday night against Missouri and will have highly touted freshman Chris Walker available. The NCAA cleared Walker on Wednesday, forcing him to sit out 12 games and repair about $300 for his receiving impermissible benefits during his college recruitment.