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NCAA Game Summary - Northwestern State vs. Florida



(Friday, March 22nd)

Final Score: Florida 79, Northwestern State 47

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - Erik Murphy scored 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds, and Florida used a strong second half to cruise past Northwestern State, 79-47, in South Region second-round action of the NCAA Tournament.

Patric Young poured in 16 points and pulled down nine boards for the third- seeded Gators (27-7), who held Northwestern State to just 15 points in the final 20 minutes of play to move on to face Minnesota in Sunday's third round.

"I think one thing was we got back in transition a lot better and got matched up," Murphy said of Florida's second-half adjustments. "They were hurting us a little bit in transition. We just came together as a team and decided we were going to get stops and when we play together on defense, we play well. It's tough for teams to score."

DeQuan Hicks had 12 points and eight rebounds for the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9), who trailed by eight at halftime but struggled to slow down the Gators thereafter.

Northwestern State was appearing in its first NCAA Tournament in seven years after winning the Southland Conference Tournament title.

The matchup featured two of the nation's top offensive and defensive teams, as Northwestern State is known for a unique, 10-man rotation and up tempo attack which leads the NCAA in scoring with 81.5 points per contest. Florida, on the other hand, ranks third in the nation allowing just 53.7 points per contest.

After starting the second half with a eight-point deficit, Northwestern State scored four unanswered to get within 40-36. Kenny Boynton then kicked off a 9-2 swing -- en route to scoring his 2,000th career point -- to put Florida ahead by 11 with 14:20 remaining.

The Demons briefly closed the margin to eight, but the team's pace and style of play soon slowed down as the Gators took control with a 19-1 flurry to quickly alter the contest.

Scottie Wilbekin highlighted the end the run with a half court alley-oop slam to Casey Prather to make it 63-42 with 8 1/2 to play. Nearly two minutes later, Murphy's layup extended the margin to 26 and Florida never looked back.

"I mean we played a very, very good first half," Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy said. "In fact, I think we cut it to four right before the half and we lay it up and then we give them a lay up back on the other end. Something that we just haven't done this year. But the caliber of team that Florida is, you just can't make mistakes."

Northwestern State's struggles during the run were eye-opening, even for the nation's top scoring unit. The team went 6:28 without a point and just over seven minutes without a field goal.

The first half, as expected, was high-paced. The Demons hung around thanks to their tempo, and trailed, 23-21, with 10:25 to play. Florida then had a 9-2 spurt, capped off by a Rosario triple which made it 32-24.

Northwestern State closed the gap to four with just over two minutes to play in the half before Florida took a 40-32 edge into the break. The Gators scored 26 points in the paint in the half, while the Demons shot 54.2 percent (13- of-24) from the floor.

Game Notes

Florida is 5-0 all-time against current Southland Conference teams, including 2-0 in NCAA Tournament play ... Wilbekin and Boynton finished with 11 points apiece for Florida ... In the Demons' last tournament appearance in 2006, the team upset Iowa as a No. 14 seed ... Boynton needed five points for 2,000 in his career. He joined Ronnie Williams as the only Gator in that club ... Florida has held 13 opponents under 50 points and 24 to under 60 for the season.

03/23 00:59:04 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
 
4th
UTAH 17
USC 21
 
3rd
WASH 0
ARST 10
 
2nd
HAW 7
NEV 0
 
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14