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Banged-up Gators gut out another

The Gators were locked in another tight game in the first half, but for the second time in as many weekends, No. 11 Florida (12-2, 2-0 SEC) used a huge run between the first and second halves to upend LSU (9-4, 0-2 SEC) in a 74-52 blowout.

Florida coach Billy Donovan wasn't happy with his team getting a little careless in the second half, but he was pleased with racking up the team's fourth straight win.

Neither team had much success converting buckets in a fast-paced, pressure-defense first half. But Florida exploded on a 12-1 run to end the first half up 29-20 and extended it to a 16-1 run to start the second half.

"We blew open a good lead, and then like LSU has done against a bunch of good eams, they started pressing and trapping," coach Billy Donovan said on an ESPNU broadcast. "We finished. I thought the difference was we attacked."

The Gators allowed LSU back into the game in the second half with a 12-0 run, but Erik Murphy finally hit a three-pointer to open the lead back up and keep Florida comfortably in front down the stretch.

Murphy, playing with fractured ribs, wasn't quite himself in the win. He finished with 12 points on 5-13 from the floor.

He wasn't the only player who was banged up for the Gators, though. Will Yeguete has been nursing a knee injury and collided with Murphy at one point in the second half. Both remained in the game and appeared to be fine.

Yeguete finished with a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Kenny Boynton led the Gators in scoring with 20 points on 7-13 shooting.

"We fought real hard. Casey went down, Mike wasn't playing today," Yeguete said. "We always step up as a team. We just have to keep grinding and as long as we play together I think we have a chance to do great this year.

Meanwhile, junior forward Casey Prather injured his left leg late in the first half. He was taken for X-rays, which Florida said came back negative.

"It sounds like Prather is negative on the break," Donovan said. "We were concerned that he had broken his leg. I'm not sure how long Prather is going to be out for, he certainly was in a lot of pain.

Senior guard Mike Rosario did not play in the game after spraining his ankle on Wednesday night against Georgia.

Florida will have to get healthy in a hurry if it hopes to extend its four-game winning streak.

"Rosario I'm hopeful to get back," Donovan said. "I'm hopeful he can be back."

The Gators will travel to Texas A&M on Thursday night for a 7 p.m. showdown before turning around and hosting No. 10 Missouri on Saturday.

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