Found March 15, 2013 on
Possibly the Florida Gators had felt like they lost the SEC Championship after their 61-57 loss at Kentucky a week ago. It was a winnable game where they outplayed the Wildcats for most of the game. Then, with a 57-51 lead, Florida went ice cold from the field, going 0-of-11 with five turnovers to end the game in losing 61-57.
Florida’s Erick Murphy scored 27 points and added 12 boards in the Gators’ 80-58 undressing of LSU in Friday afternoon’s SEC quarterfinal. (Courtesy Univ. of Florida Athletics)
After a week to prepare for the SEC Tournament, Billy Donovan’s Gators were downright impressive in pummeling LSU 80-58 Friday afternoon. Practice is where Florida had gotten well. With a week to prepare, it would take a Top 10 team to take down Donovan’s Gators.
“Practice was tough,” said Erik Murphy who scored 27 points and 12 rebounds with his versatility on display, “Coach was focused on certain things. He made it hard on us in practice to see how we would respond. I think we did a good job in practice and a good job today responding.”
Forward Patric Young agreed that the tough slate of practices sharpened the Gators and made them focus on the task at hand plus realize the potential of this team now that March is in full swing.
“It was a really difficult practice , but I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Young, “Coach really challenged us because he wants us to be great and we challenged each other.”
Murphy’s second double-double in as many games was phenomenal. In scoring 27 points, he had his season high and noted that he had put extra focus on rebounding which sometimes is a problem for Florida.
He paced the Gators to the lead right out of the locker room. Murphy was 11-of-15 from the floor, making five triples in 25 minutes and when he made his first three to put UF ahead 8-5, his expression heading to the defensive end of the floor was one of excitement as he let out a scream of elation.
“Shots were falling today,” illustrated Murphy, “I felt good. Whether the ball goes into the basket is not in your control. Coach was saying give good reps this week. Every rep is a good rep whether in a game or practice. The shots fell today.”
Florida was 11-of-20 from behind the arc as that type of shooting output coinciding with the tenacious defense and unselfish play usually makes them impossible to beat.
Donovan seemed relaxed on the bench as Florida went on a 10-0 run to go ahead 28-17 as Scottie Wilbekin scored five points in that run. The relaxed tendancies of the free-flowing Gators manifested itself through the second half as they shot 50.9% for the game and built a lead by as many as 33 at 69-36 midway through the second stanza.
“Give our guys credit, they came out focused and ready to play,” noted Donovan, “We moved and passed the basketball and I think we had pretty good offensive flow. Erik certainly had a good game inside and out and Patric did a very good job defensively and posting up and giving us a presence up front.”
- Ken Cross
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BEST OF MAXIM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Erik Murphy had a big grin on his face and a guitar in his hands late Friday afternoon as he participated in a promotional video shoot with teammate Patric Young.
Murphy and Young were still sweaty and in their uniforms as they goofed around in the fog from a smoke machine shortly after Florida's 80-58 win over LSU in an SEC quarterfinal.
Erik Murphy scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds to help the 13th-ranked Florida Gators take the first step Friday toward trying to add a Southeastern Conference tournament title to their regular season championship by beating LSU 80-58.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive presented Florida coach Billy Donovan with the regular season trophy before tipoff...
Game time: 1 p.m.
Florida coach Billy Donovan has noticed something missing from his team the last three weeks.
Ball security? Sure. Rebounding? Absolutely. Clutch shots in close games? Well, that, too.
Those tangible miscues are correctable, but Donovan says he's more concerned about one intangible missing element.
"I'm more looking at the whole body of...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Erik Murphy scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds to help the 13th-ranked Florida Gators take the first step Friday toward trying to add a Southeastern Conference tournament title to their regular season championship by beating LSU 80-58.
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive presented Florida coach Billy Donovan with the regular season...
Game time: 1 p.m.
After watching Florida stumble down the stretch, Billy Donovan challenged his team to come out with more intensity in the SEC tournament.
The conference's top-seeded squad responded with its best performance in a month.
The 13th-ranked Gators look to build on an impressive showing and take a step closer to adding a tournament title to their regular...
The Florida Gators got things startd pretty early on Friday against LSU and coasted to an easy win over the Bengal Tigers to a tune of 80-58. Erik Murphy put on a show for the Gators, but the entire squad looked good for the most part. Here is a pictorial account of the game.
The Tigers got down big at half and couldn't climb back against Erik Murphy and Florida in the second. Murphy scored a career-high 27 points in guiding the Gators to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.
Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Mississippi Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA tournament berth Sunday by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida 66-63 for the Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
The Rebels (26-8) now have won seven of eight grabbing their first tournament title since 1981 and their second ever. Even though they...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Mississippi Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA tournament berth Sunday by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida 66-63 for the Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
The Rebels (26-8) now have won seven of eight grabbing their first tournament title since 1981 and their second...
Florida head coach Billy Donovan challenged his team to respond. They closed the Southeastern Conference regular season with a loss at Kentucky, and Donovan wanted his team to get back to the level of play it was at early in conference play. Friday afternoon was a positive step in that direction. No. 13 Florida secured a blowout 80-58 win over LSU to advance to the tournament semifinals.
This weekend is about regaining momentum for No. 13 Florida. Head coach Billy Donovan and his players called it a big game just because it’s the next one, but the Gators have an opportunity to put the disappointing performance at Kentucky behind them this weekend in Nashville. It starts with a rematch against LSU on Friday at 1 p.m.
Ole Miss came into the SEC Tournament as a proverbial bubble team. They leave as a solid NCAA participant. The inside play of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner plus the pomp, circumstance, and swagger of Marshall Henderson carried the Rebels to a 66-63 win over Florida in the SEC Final on Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena.
Murphy Holloway was the key to an Ole Miss SEC...
The Mississippi Rebels now have two very big items on their resume that nobody can take away.
Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA tournament berth by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida 66-63 on Sunday for the Southeastern Conference tournament championship.
''So much is made about the NCAA tournament...
Florida closed the Southeastern Conference tournament by continuing its season-long trend of coming up short in close games.
The 13th-ranked Gators can only hope it isn't a sign of things to come.
Florida led by as many as 14 points and was up 12 at halftime Sunday before Mississippi rallied for a 66-63 victory to win its first SEC tournament title since 1981.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. Florida knows it's in the NCAA Tournament.
Ole Miss thinks it is, but wants to make sure.
They'll play here Sunday at noon in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game. To the victor goes the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament field of 68.
That would come as a relief to Ole Miss (25-8), which entered SEC tourney play firmly...