Young shines as No. 12 Florida beats Arizona 78-72By MARK LONG, AP Sports Writer Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)—Shirt untucked, sweat dripping, Florida’s Patric Young jogged off the floor as fans chanted his name.
He raised his arms in acknowledgment, basking in the glow of a career night against Arizona.
For coach Billy Donovan, it wasn’t nearly enough.
Young had a career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds, Erving Walker made some huge free throws down the stretch, and No. 12 Florida rallied to beat Arizona 78-72 in overtime Wednesday night.
Afterward, Donovan ripped Walker and fellow guard Kenny Boynton for failing to get Young more involved.
“This was a game where Patric Young should have taken 40 shots in the game,” Donovan said. “Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton need to do a better job of reading what’s going on inside the game. Their shooting percentage form the field, although their intentions of wanting to win the game and feeling like they need to do something, we should have just played out of Patric Young the whole entire night.
“He had 25 points. He should have had 45 points. We should have got the ball to him much, much more than we did. There’s got to be a better understanding.”
Young made 12 of 15 shots, having his way inside as the Wildcats (6-3) focused on shutting down Florida’s outside shooters. He had six offensive rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
“The difference is clearly they were the bigger team,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “They killed us on the glass. They are in fantastic shape. They play really hard and they wore our team down. They didn’t just wear our team down, they have worn down whoever they have played.”
Walker finished with 14 points, including seven in the extra frame. He overcame a poor shooting night from the field (3 of 16) and a miserable performance from 3-point range (1 of 9). Boynton wasn’t much better. He was 2 of 11 from the floor and 1 of 6 from behind the arc.
Donovan said their woes were the team’s biggest problem, even more concerning than what was one of the worst free-throw shooting performance in Donovan’s 16 seasons. The Gators were 15 of 32 from the line, including a 2-for-14 start.
“I’ve never ever seen in my life 2 for 14 at one point from the free-throw line,” Donovan said. “I could go out right now and make 2 for 14 left-handed. I mean, 2 for 14? Everybody in this room could make 2 for 14.”
Jesse Perry led the Wildcats with 23 points and seven rebounds. Kyle Fogg added 19 points before fouling out in overtime. Nick Johnson and Solomon Hill also fouled out for Arizona.
The Gators trailed 57-50 with about 7 minutes remaining, but got some key shots from Walker, Boynton and Bradley Beal to tie the game at 61.
Walker missed a 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds left, but Young grabbed the rebound, split two defenders and bounced it off the backboard to put Florida ahead 64-63.
“In my whole tenure being here I haven’t really done too much offensively in the post to make teams come in and try to keep me out of my game,” Young said. “Tonight I established that and I’m really thankful that my teammates were able to find me. Maybe I won’t get the opportunity again. I’m just going to make the most of the one I had tonight.”
Johnson turned the ball over on the other end, and the Gators looked to be in great shape when Walker hit two free throws with 8.2 seconds to go.
But Antinio Petty whistled Casey Prather for a questionable shooting foul, awarding three shots to Hill. Donovan screamed, “No way” after the call. Hill drained all of three shots to tie the game at 66.
Walker missed a 3 at the end of regulation, but he made up for it in overtime.
Will Yeguete came up big, too. He had seven points, eight rebounds, four steals and several defensive stops down the stretch.
The Gators needed every bit of help because Walker and Boynton struggled all night. Florida finished 7 of 26 from 3-point range, not a whole lot worse than the team was from the free-throw line.
Forward Erik Murphy returned after missing three consecutive games with a knee injury, came off the bench and finished with three points and five rebounds.
Arizona played without freshman guard Josiah Turner, who was suspended Tuesday for violating team policy. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the discipline revolved around Turner’s participation in practices. The newspaper also reported that Turner was taken out of the starting lineup before the Nov. 9 game against Duquesne after he was late to the pregame shootaround.
The Wildcats had 10 turnovers midway through the first half, but managed to take the lead at the break—mostly because of Florida’s free-throw shooting.
“I feel like we let it slip away,” Fogg said. “But I think we played good and showed we can hang with a top-10 team.”