Florida may have turned in back-to-back 86-point efforts, but that hasn’t been enough to satisfy coach Billy Donovan.
His 23rd-ranked Gators may finally reach the century mark on Tuesday when they look to improve to 10-0 all-time against Florida A&M.
Florida (5-1) suffered its first loss of the season on Nov. 24, 89-83 to Syracuse, but bounced back the following night with an 86-84 victory over Washington in the consolation game of the CBE Classic.
The Gators had another efficient offensive performance Sunday in Orlando, recording an 86-65 victory over UMKC. They shot 55.7 percent from the floor as freshman guard Erving Walker had nine of their season-high 26 assists.
The number that stood out more for Donovan, though, was his team’s season-worst turnover mark.
“We probably could have scored 100 points, but not with 21 turnovers,” Donovan said. “And it seemed like every time we turned it over, they ended up with a layup at the other end.”
Alex Tyus scored 25 points - including seven dunks - to bounce back from an eight-point performance in the win over Washington. Fellow sophomore Chandler Parsons, a reserve, scored 17 and Walker added 13 more points off the bench.
“We’re going to have some growing pains, but I really like what our young guys bring to this team,” Donovan said. “They’re very coachable and winning is important to them.”
Tyus was the most effective starter for the Gators, as the others combined for only 23 points, shot 8 of 24 from the field and turned the ball over 12 times.
It’s likely that Tyus will add to his team-high total of 13 dunks against Florida A&M (1-5), which is playing Florida for the ninth time in 10 seasons. The Gators have won all nine previous meetings and the last eight by an average margin of 39 points, including a 91-52 rout last Dec. 5 behind 20 points and nine assists from Nick Calathes.
Florida is 17-0 all-time against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Rattlers don’t appear ready to challenge the Gators, after losing their first four road games by an average of 32.2 points. They are shooting 34.4 percent from the field in those games, including 19.1 percent from 3-point range. They missed all 20 of their 3-point attempts in an 89-48 loss at Alabama on Nov. 19.
Florida A&M’s latest setback was an 86-61 loss at Arkansas on Saturday, when the Rattlers made 8 of 35 3-pointers (22.9 percent) and were outrebounded 51-30.
“We didn’t establish an inside presence,” Florida A&M coach Eugene Harris said. “That’s something you have to do against an SEC team.”
This is the second game of 11 straight for Florida within its own state.