Monday, March 31, 2014
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Florida 62, Dayton 52

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[March 31, 2014]  MEMPHIS, Tenn.  Florida 62, Dayton 52: Scottie Wilbekin scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half as the Gators upended the Flyers in the NCAA tournament South regional in Memphis, Tenn., to reach the Final Four for the first time since 2007.

Patric Young added 12 points and four blocked shots for top-seeded Florida (36-2), which advances to face Connecticut in the national semifinals. Michael Frazier II scored 10 points as the Gators stretched their school-record winning streak to 30.

Dyshawn Pierre scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half for 11th-seeded Dayton (26-11), which was trying to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1967. Devin Oliver added 12 points on four 3-pointers but the Flyers posted their lowest-scoring effort of the season.

The score was knotted at 23 15-plus minutes into the contest before the Gators took control with a 15-1 burst. Wilbekin scored nine points during the run and knocked down a 3-pointer with two seconds left to give Florida a 38-24 halftime lead.

The Gators stretched the lead to 53-36 on Young's basket with 11:25 remaining and Dayton got back in the game with a 14-5 run over the ensuing 7 1/2 minutes to cut its deficit to 58-50. Wilbekin hit two free throws with 1:05 remaining and Florida finished off the victory after losing in the Elite Eight in each of the previous three seasons.

GAME NOTEBOOK: F Dorian Finney-Smith had nine rebounds off the bench as the Gators recorded a 37-26 rebounding edge. Flyers leading scorer Jordan Sibert was scoreless on 0-of-3 shooting. Florida was 21-of-28 from the free-throw line while the Flyers were 6-of-8.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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