College Station, TX – Mike Rosario led three Florida players in double-figures with 19 points and four 3-pointers as 10th-ranked Florida stifled and overwhelmed Texas A&M, 68-47, at Reed Arena Thursday night.
Patric Young finished with 18 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and Erik Murphy chipped in 16 points and seven boards as well for the Gators (13-2, 3-0 SEC), who have won five straight following a Dec. 22 loss at Kansas State and held eight of its opponents under 50 points this season.
"When you go on the road it's always difficult. I think our guys are prepared to have to go out and play for 40 minutes," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "I think our guys understand how quickly leads can evaporate and how quickly you can get leads."
Alex Caruso scored a team-high 12 points and added four steals and Ray Turner donated eight points and eight rebounds for the Aggies (12-4, 2-1), who fell for the first time since Dec. 22 as their four-game winning streak was snapped.
"We lost to a very good team. I thought they were more physical than us at every position," Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. "They're extremely well coached at both ends of the court. You've got to give them credit. I thought we played well for about 13 or 14 minutes."
Rosario had 11 of Florida's first 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and the Gators led, 13-9 just under eight minutes into the contest.
Florida took control of the game to close the first half, opening up a 18-2 run with 7:07 remaining, started by a Scottie Wilbekin layup which gave the visitors a 19-16 lead.
The Aggies had no answers on offense and managed just one basket the rest of the half -- an Elston Turner jumper with 5:33 left -- and missed six shots before entering the break down, 35-18.
Rosario shot 4-of-6 from downtown in the first 20 minutes of play and led the Gators with 14 points. Texas A&M shot a mere 33.3 percent from the floor, including just 1-of-5 from 3-point range, while the Gators forced seven turnovers and shot 55.6 percent.
Florida continued its impressive defense in the second half, holding the Aggies to 12 points over 11 minutes into the half, as two Turner free throws made it 54-30 with 8:52 remaining.
Murphy and Young stepped up offensively in the final 20 minutes, adding nine and 12 points, respectively. The Gators led by as many as 30 in the second half and cruised to win from there.
The Aggies' struggles were a bit surprising following their 83-71 victory at Kentucky on Saturday. The Aggies shot just 34 percent from the floor, although the Gators came into the contest ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 52 points per game.
Texas A&M has now lost 24 straight against teams ranked in the Top-10 ... The Gators shot 50 percent from the floor and forced 16 Texas A&M turnovers ... Elston Turner, who scored a career-high 40 points in the win over UK, finished with four points on 1-of-10 shooting from the floor.