Florida outguns UCLA, but is looking for more
May 27, 2017 | 78° | Check Traffic

Sports| Top News

Florida outguns UCLA, but is looking for more

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSFlorida’s Scottie Wilbekin flew by UCLA’s Norman Powell, left, and Travis Wear.
    Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin flew by UCLA’s Norman Powell, left, and Travis Wear.
  • ASSOCIATED PRESSDayton’s Jordan Sibert, right, and Matt Kavanaugh celebrated during their win over Stanford.
    Dayton’s Jordan Sibert, right, and Matt Kavanaugh celebrated during their win over Stanford.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. » The Florida Gators are back where their last three seasons have ended with yet another chance to go to the Final Four.

Being in the Elite Eight again, though, simply isn’t enough.

Michael Frazier II hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points as the Gators beat UCLA 79-68 on Thursday to reach its fourth consecutive NCAA regional final.

"We just talked about it, and it’s not enough for us," Florida senior Will Yeguete said. "We have two days to get ready for a good team, and we’re just going to go for it on Saturday."

The Gators (35-2) also extended the best winning streak in school history to 29 straight in reaching the South Regional final.

"From a team aspect, I think we’ve done a great job of just staying in the moment and just trying to chase greatness," Frazier said. "When you do that, complacency isn’t a factor, so I think we’ve done a great job all year of just staying in the moment and chasing greatness."

The tournament’s overall top seed will play 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday for a trip to the Final Four.

"Right now we got to put this game behind us and get focused on Dayton," Florida senior Scottie Wilbekin said. "They’re a great team. Everybody is at this point in the season, and so we got to be locked in and ready because it’s going to be a battle."

Wilbekin added 13 points for Florida. Casey Prather had 12 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 10. Kasey Hill had 10 assists. The Gators have not lost since Dec. 2.

UCLA (28-9) was back in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2008 under first-year coach Steve Alford. But the Bruins just couldn’t match Florida’s physical defense or outshoot the Gators. UCLA now is 0-4 against Florida coach Billy Donovan all-time — all in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida shot 50 percent for the game (29-for-58), including 59.3 percent in the second half. UCLA finished 42.2 percent (27-for-64) shooting in only their fifth game scoring under 70 points this season. The Bruins were a cold 1-for-12 beyond the arc in the second half.

Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 17 points, Kyle Anderson had 11 and five assists with nine rebounds.



Jordan Sibert scored 18 points, Kendall Pollard added a season-high 12 and the Flyers (26-10) rolled past the Cardinal (23-13).

Eleventh-seeded Dayton continued its underdog run, and this one wasn’t particularly close. The 6-foot-4 Sibert was spectacular, slashing to the basket and draining 3-pointers, to help the Flyers lead for almost the entire night.

Dayton showed its depth early, using 12 players in the first half to slowly wear Stanford down.

No. 10 Stanford had the superior post play, but it wasn’t enough. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal with 21 points, but shot 5-for-21 from the field.



ANAHEIM, Calif. » Frank Kaminsky scored 19 points and blocked six shots, and the Badgers (29-7) romped past the Bears (26-12).

Ben Brust hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points for second-seeded Wisconsin, which jumped to a 14-point lead in the first half and never let up.

The 7-foot Kaminsky and his teammates shredded the Baylor zone defense that played so well in the first two games.

Cory Jefferson scored 15 points for the sixth-seeded Bears, who did little with their third Sweet 16 trip in five years.


No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.