GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Mike Rosario scored a season-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists, and No. 8 Florida routed Southeastern Louisiana 82-43 on Wednesday night.
The Gators (8-1) bounced back from a loss at No. 4 Arizona four days earlier, winning their only home game over a 40-day span.
Rosario made 8 of 13 shots, including 4 of 8 from 3-point range, and enjoyed his best game since transferring to Florida from Rutgers after the 2009-10 season. It came on the heels of a 16-point night against the Wildcats.
It's a big swing for a senior guard coach Billy Donovan criticized earlier in the season. Donovan called Rosario soft before the season, and then ripped him for turnovers and a lack of defensive effort last month.
Rosario has responded well.
He was no match for the Lions (1-8), who have lost five straight.
Rosario hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the first half, turning an eight-point game into a double-digit lead. He followed with two more baskets, giving him 10 consecutive points. Maybe his most impressive play came in the closing minute of the first half, when he grabbed a rebound and made an athletic move toward the basket.
He could have flirted with a triple-double, but Donovan played reserves for the final 5 minutes of the lopsided game.
Pat Young and Michael Frazier II were the only other Florida players in double figures. Young had 10 points and five rebounds; Frazier had 12 and six.
Scottie Wilbekin added nine points, six rebounds and four assists for Florida. Casey Prather and Will Yeguete chipped in eight points each. Leading scorer Kenny Boynton had seven points while struggling for the third consecutive game. He was 1-of-7 shooting, making him 7 of 29 in the last three games. He has hit just 3 of his last 22 shots from behind the arc.
Brandon Fortenberry led Southeastern Louisiana with 15 points.
The Gators shot 57 percent in the first half and led 43-26. Things really got ugly after the break.
The Lions went 7 minutes without a point in the second half, falling behind 50-26 before Fortenberry's driving layup.
About the only thing Southeastern Louisiana did well was handle Florida's press. The Lions had two turnovers at halftime and 13 for the game. They shot 29 percent for the game and made just 3 of 21 from behind the arc.
The Gators were much more efficient.
They shot 49 percent from the field, including 10 of 32 from downtown. Florida connected on 16 of 18 free throws and dominated the paint, scoring 30 points in the land and outrebounding Southeastern Louisiana 40-30.