Saturday, February 11, 2017

UF Basketball: No. 17 Florida Defeats Texas A&M at Home for 20th Win

For the 23rd time in program history, the Florida Gators have won 20 games in a season! The No. 17 Gators (20-5, 10-2 SEC) reached the magic number this year with a 71-62 home victory over the Texas A&M Aggies (13-11, 5-7 SEC). Similar to Tuesday's contest against Georgia (13-11, 4-7 SEC), this game was close until Florida ran away with it in the last five minutes of regulation.

Florida's Leading Men
Off the bench, junior backup point guard Chris Chiozza again made an impact as he scored 11 points with five assists and four rebounds. Although he went 1-5 from the field, Chiozza feasted from the free throw line as he converted 8 of his game-high 10 attempts.

Also making some noise off the bench was graduate transfer Canyon Barry made history today. Going 4/4 from the charity strike, Barry now holds the Gator record with 39 consecutive free throws made.

His underhand style may be ridiculed and abnormal to some, but it can't be denied that it is effective and pretty foolproof. I offer my congratulations to Canyon. In addition to the record, he also dropped 12 points (which was the second most among Gator players this afternoon).

For Florida's starters, senior forward Justin Leon and redshirt junior center John Egbunu led the way. Leon shot 7 of 15 from the field and drained 50% of his three-pointers (four of eight). He scored a game-high 18 points while corralling five rebounds (three which were offensive).

Egbunu messed around and got a double-double as he scored 10 points and hauled in 10 rebounds on a four of five shooting effort. He made three of his four three throw attempts while also recording two blocks.

Texas A&M's Leading Men
In a losing effort, the Aggies still had some guys who lit up the scoreboard. Among their starters, three registered double-digit scoring efforts. They were freshman forward Robert Williams, sophomore center Tyler Davis, and sophomore guard Admon Gilder.

Williams equated Justin Leon with a game-high 18 points of his own while also shooting 7 of 15 from the field. He made all four of his free throws, corralled a game-high 12 rebounds (five offensive) for the double-double, notched three steals, and also had a game-high four blocks. Williams literally did everything he could in a tough losing effort.

The next leading man for the Aggies was Tyler Davis. The 6'10 center made 5 of his 10 field goals while racking up 12 points. He brought down eight rebounds but committed a game-high six turnovers. Rounding out the Aggie leaders, Admon Gilder also scored 12 points. He shot a subpar 4 of 13 from the field but did record a game-high five steals.

Final Takeaway
No. 17 Florida trailed for about six minutes in the early-to-mid stages of the second half before snatching away the lead for good. With their victory today, the Gators have now upped their winning streak to six games. They remain tied with No. 15 Kentucky (20-5, 10-2 SEC) and No. 19 South Carolina (19-5, 9-2 SEC) for first place in the SEC.

The Gators continue to play well and will look to keep that going as they travel to Auburn (16-8, 5-6 SEC) on Valentine's Day. For a single guy like me, a Gator victory over the Tigers is all I'm gonna need to be happy on this "holiday".

Jokes aside though, Florida should take care of business to keep up the pace in the SEC race. Tipoff for this game is at 7 p.m. It can be seen on the SEC Network and heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network.

As for Texas A&M, they get some time off before heading to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (12-12, 5-6 SEC) next Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

*All stats accredited to



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