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Gators Blast Savannah State

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Pat Young scored 15 points, becoming the 50th player in school history to reach 1,000 in his career, and No. 13 Florida handled Savannah State 76-34 on Sunday.

Young received a standing ovation as he left the game with 5:41 remaining, waving to the crowd as his achievement was announced.

Young topped the 1,000-point plateau on a putback with 7:15 to play. It came shortly after he stepped to the free throw line with a chance to join the club. Young clanged it off the front rim, drawing groans from the crowd. He made amends, though, a few minutes later.

Young was one of four Florida players in double figures. Michael Frazier II had 11 points for the Gators (10-2). Casey Prather and Scottie Wilbekin chipped in 10 points each.

Jyles Smith led Savannah State (2-11) with eight points and eight rebounds. The Tigers have lost nine straight.

It was Florida's 22nd consecutive home win, leaving coach Billy Donovan's team two shy of the school record set in 2007.

The Gators dominated from the opening tip, getting any shot they wanted against the undersized Tigers.

Florida used two double-digit runs to make the game a rout, outscoring Savannah State 12-0 early and then 14-0 a few minutes later. The Tigers went 5:47 without a basket before enduring an 8:12 scoreless stretch.

Florida led 34-11 at halftime and coasted from there.

It had to be a somewhat different feeling for the Gators, who had eight days off after a brutal stretch that included games against Florida State, then-No. 12 Connecticut, then-No. 13 Kansas, then-No. 15 Memphis and Fresno State. It marked the first time in Donovan's 18 seasons in Gainesville that Florida played consecutive non-conference teams ranked in the top 15.

The only thing worth watching in the second half was Young's countdown to 1,000.

He had eight points in the first half and needed only four more to reach the milestone.

Young got a layup on Florida's second possession after the break and then went nearly 10 minutes without another shot. As he stepped to the free throw line, the crowd knew what was at stake.

So did Young.

He smiled after making the first one, which put him at 999 points, but grimaced as the second free throw came up short.

No worries, though. He crashed the boards for his sixth rebound a short time later and topped 1,000 points with a tip-in. Donovan took him out at the next timeout.

 

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