Raiders and Gators mix it up in Tampa
Tampa, FL – The Florida Gators have made the relatively short conference clash with the Wright State Raiders.
Members of the Horizon League, the Raiders are 2-1 overall this season thanks to victories in each of the last two outings. On Wednesday, Wright State beat Jackson State by a 56-39 final, but it is obvious that tonight's affair marks a major leap in competition level. The Raiders played a major conference power in the season opener, losing to Ohio State by a 73-42 final.
It is certainly ironic that Florida and Wright State have two common opponents thus far, as the Gators beat Jackson State by 40 points to open the season before falling to Ohio State by seven points. The most recent outing for Billy Donovan's Gators came on Thursday when they crushed North Florida, 91-55. UF's non-conference schedule will feature the likes of Arizona, Syracuse and Texas A&M, and the SEC slate will be tough as usual.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Wright State and Florida on the hardwood.
Wright State is far from explosive at the offensive end of the court, as the club is scoring a modest 59.3 ppg on 36.2 percent field goal efficiency. Fortunately, the Raiders have been able to limit opponents to 56.0 ppg on 37.6 percent overall shooting. The only double-digit scorer on the roster is Reggie Arceneaux, as he is posting 11.7 ppg despite his 11-of-33 efficiency from the field to date. Taking a look at the 17-point triumph over Jackson State last week, Arceneaux was able to net 15 points in 35 minutes of action, while teammate Armond Battle pitched in 10 points. The Raiders shot just 31.4 percent from the field in that clash, but they did force 21 turnovers and limited the Tigers to 26.2 percent shooting from the floor.
Florida lost some key contributors from a year ago, but Kenny Boynton is back in place and off to a great start. The standout guard is netting 18.0 ppg through the first three outings on 51.4 percent shooting from the field. Bradley Beal, the program's prized recruit, checks in with 14.3 ppg and figures to get better with every game. Mike Rosario (13.0 ppg), Erik Murphy (11.0 ppg), Patric Young (11.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg) and Erving Walker (10.3 ppg) add balance to the lineup for the Gators, who are generating 88.0 ppg while limiting foes to 65.0 ppg. Key has been the team's strong rebounding, as it is pulling down 10.6 rpg more than the opposition. In the romp over North Florida last time out, Boynton led a balanced attack with 20 points. The Gators dominated the game at the defensive end, forcing 21 turnovers while limiting their overmatched opponents to 34.5 percent field goal efficiency.