Gators wallop A&M in Reed, 68-47
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 22:01
After an electric performance in the national spotlight at Kentucky by Texas A&M this past Sunday, the No. 10 Florida Gators handed A&M its first loss in SEC play at Reed Arena Thursday night.
Texas A&M got off to a hot start with a 6-2 run but the Gators defense seemed to wear down the Aggie offense as Florida went on a 8-0 run to combat the Aggies fast start and didn’t let up.
The Gators ended the half on a 16-2 run leaving the Aggies with a 35-18 deficit to try and overcome. Texas A&M's head coach Billy Kennedy said his team's conditioning is to blame.
"I thought we played well for about 13-14 minutes," Kennedy said. "When we get tired, they were better than us."
After senior guard Elston Turner shocked Kentucky with a 40-point game, he was held to 1-10 shooting and only four points. Florida head coach Billy Donovan praised Turner and said he was pleased with how his team contained the Aggies top scorer.
"I've been in the league, as an assistant and head coach, for a while," Donovan said. "You don't see a performance like that too often. We took away Elston Turner, so to speak, who's a big part of their game."
The halftime show gave fans excitement as Johnny Manziel and the Aggie football team were welcomed in front of the season-high 11,046 fans as Cotton Bowl Champions.
The Aggies and Gators essentially traded shots in the second half and freshman guard Alex Caruso, who only scored one point in the first half, stepped up by shooting 4-5 and leading the team with 12 points at the game's end.
Caruso echoed Kennedy, saying the Aggies just got tired at the end of the first half but couldn't give a reason why.
"Our legs got a little heavy," Caruso said. "We didn't finish tough plays inside like we did at the beginning. I don't think it was one thing in particular. Nature."
The Aggies are now 2-1 in conference play and travel to Alabama to play the Crimson Tide on Sunday. Coach Kennedy said he isn't sure what to expect from his team but the upperclassmen should lead the way.
"This is a tough turnaround," Kennedy said. "Usually depth and experience bounce back pretty well. Six of our nine guys that play haven't experienced this before. Our upperclassmen have to step up against a tough Alabama team.”