Florida Tops FGCU To Keep SEC In The Big Dance

The third-seeded Gators put an end to the 15th-seeded Eagles’ unlikely run in the NCAA Tournament with a come-from-behind win Friday night. UF is the only remaining SEC school in the tourney.

Florida 62, Florida Gulf Coast 50

The Eagles got off to a hot start against the Gators, and were leading by eight points at the 14:36 mark in the first half and up by double digits halfway through the period. UF flipped a switch, though, and suddenly got right back in the game.

Mike Rosario and the Gators were too much for the Eagles to handle.

Mike Rosario and the Gators were too much for the Eagles to handle.

The Gators went on a 24-9 run in the second 10 minutes of the half, and the Eagles scored just two points in the final five minutes (and they came with 43 seconds left in the half). Florida took the lead with 1:43 left on the clock and they were up 30-26 heading into the locker room.

The Gators opened up the second half by going on a 7-0 run and were quickly up by double digits. Florida Gulf Coast never had a lead in the second half, and they couldn’t pull within fewer than seven points of Florida.

The Eagles didn’t do themselves any favors, either, as they missed too many free throws and rebounds. The Gators led by as many as 13 points, and it became clear as time ticked by that FGCU was simply overmatched.

Chase Fieler led the Eagles with 12 points, six rebounds, an assist, two steals, and a block. Mike Rosario had 15 points, five rebounds, an assist, and a steal to lead the Gators. UF was outshot 45.5 percent to 38.6 percent, but they outrebounded FGCU 30-27.

Florida is now 29-7 overall and they went 14-4 in conference play. Florida Gulf Coast finishes at 26-11 overall and 13-5 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Gators will play fourth-seeded Michigan (who pulled off an upset over top-seeded Kansas) on Sunday at 2:20 ET. The game will be shown on CBS.

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