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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 18, 2006

Florida not sharp, but rolls to 72-57 victory

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. Joakim Noah wasn't concerned that fifth-ranked Florida won again despite not playing particularly well.

"We have a lot of young guys and it takes a little time. ... It's a process," Noah said, trying to put yesterday's 72-57 victory over Florida A&M in perspective.

"You don't want your team playing your best basketball in November or December. At the end of the day, it's what's going on in March. That's what really matters."

Lee Humphrey scored 15 points, and Walter Hodge and Taurean Green had 11 apiece to help Billy Donovan tie Norm Sloan as Florida's career victory leader.

Sloan won 235 games in 15 seasons served over two stints in which he raised expectations for the basketball program at the Southeastern Conference school. Donovan is 235-100 in his 11th season with the defending national champions.

"It's something I'm proud of because of the length of time that I've been at Florida," Donovan said, adding that it's a tribute to his players.

"Norm Sloan was a great coach. ... But for me to be part of it so quickly, I think that's something I'll reflect on and remember."

Noah had a dominating performance despite taking only five shots. He finished with seven points, 17 rebounds and six blocks for Florida (9-2), which relied on the outside shooting of Humphrey, Hodge and Dan Werner to build a 17-point halftime lead.

"We had no answer for Noah," Florida A&M coach Mike Gillespie said after his team fell to 5-6.

No. 8 Wichita State 102, Maryland-Eastern Shore 46: P.J. Couisnard was 8 for 8 from the field and scored 21 points, leading the Shockers (8-0) over the Hawks (1-6) in Wichita, Kan.

No. 10 Arizona 87, Houston 62: Marcus Williams had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Wildcats (8-1) over the Cougars (4-3) in Tucson, Ariz. Mustafar Shakur had 17 points and eight assists for the Wildcats, and Ivan Radenovic added 16 points.

No. 12 LSU 60, Oregon State 53: Glen Davis had 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Tigers (6-2) fought off a Beaver (6-5) rally in Corvallis, Ore.

No. 14 Connecticut 89, St. Mary's 73: Jerome Dyson had 19 points and Jeff Adrien added 15 to help the Huskies (9-0) stretch their home winning streak to 28 games with the win over the Gaels (6-6).

No. 22 Oregon 84, Idaho St. 55: Malik Hairston had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Ducks over the Bengals (4-6) in Eugene, Ore. Oregon is 10-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

WAC

Long Beach State 76, San Jose State 67: Kejuan Johnson, sporting a mask to protect his broken nose, matched his career high of 20 points to help the 49ers (6-4) win their fourth straight with a win over the Spartans (1-9).