The Florida Gators are finding things a little tougher in today’s Southeast Regional third-round matchup against the UCLA Bruins than they did on Thursday. Although they continue to shoot well from the field (56%), the second-seeded Gators only lead 35-33 at halftime against #7 seed UCLA.
Florida’s offense looks like it’s in more of a rhythm so far, but the Bruins are hanging in the game the same way they pulled ahead of Michigan State on Thursday night — with rebounding and free throws. The Bruins have an 18-9 edge on the boards and got to the line 15 times in the first half. UCLA’s frontcourt is leading the way, as Reeves Nelson has 8 points and 6 rebounds, Tyler Honeycutt added 7 points, and Joshua Smith has 6 points and 4 rebounds, all on the offensive glass.
Erving Walker has 8 points for Florida, and Kenny Boynton has 7. The Gators only had two turnovers in the first half, so if they can do a better job on the boards and keep UCLA off the free-throw line, they may be able to pull away in the second half.