In one of the biggest games in this opening week of the NCAA basketball season, the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Florida Gators, 81-74, at Value City Arena in Columbus. It was a respectable first week effort by the Gators on the road against one of the top five teams in the country. Florida was paced on the offensive end by fab freshman Brad Beal, who poured in 17 points but made some freshman mistakes, turning the ball over five times and going just 6 of 16 from the field. Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft countered the Gator guards and led the Buckeyes in all facets the game, "dominating from start to finish," according to Gator coach Billy Donovan.
Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy, and Patric Young all chipped in with double digit scoring games. Murphy was four for four from three, as the Gators shot 50% from behind the arc to keep it reasonably close. Florida had a size advantage and out-rebounded the Buckeyes, but the Gators were plagued by missed free throws and turnovers. They coughed it up 16 times and missed eight crucial free throws.
Florida will look to rebound on Thursday night against a much less daunting opponent as they host the North Florida Ospreys at the O'Connell Center.