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Locke scores career-high 18, Florida beats UNF 98-66

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Florida is finding points and energy from a couple unexpected sources.

Noah Locke scored a career-high 18 points, Deaundrae Ballard added 15 and the Gators handled North Florida 98-66 Tuesday night.

Locke, a freshman from Maryland, has worked his way into the starting lineup in place of senior Jalen Hudson and emerged as a reliable scorer for the Gators (4-3).

''No one on our team plays any harder than Noah,'' Florida coach Mike White said.

Ballard, a sophomore from Atlanta, is giving White production off the bench. Ballard reached double figures for the third consecutive game. He had a career-high 19 points in Florida's last game against Stanford.

''I'm very proud of his progression,'' White said.

Locke and Ballard were two of six Florida players with at least 10 points against the overmatched Ospreys (2-5). KeVaughn Allen scored 13, Kevarrius Hayes added 12, Keyontae Johnson chipped in 11 and Keith Stone finished with 10 for the Gators.

Florida shot a season-high 56.5 percent from the field and made 16 of 28 from 3-point range.

The Gators tied an NCAA record by having nine different players hit a 3. They reached the mark when walk-on Andrew Fava hit from long range with 31 seconds remaining.

''That's what they do,'' UNF coach Matthew Driscoll said. ''We be more surprised when they're not hitting 3s than when they are.''

Florida turned a one-point game into a double-digit lead midway through the first half and really got things going with a late run just before the break. Ballard and Johnson hit 3-pointers during the spurt.

Florida led 53-33 at intermission and stretched the lead to 30 with about 10 minutes to play.

White rotated 11 guys, and all of them scored. Freshman point guard Andrew Nembhard was the last to find the basket, ending a scoreless night with a 3-pointer with 4 minutes to play. He also had 11 assists and no turnovers.

''He's pretty good, huh?'' White said. ''He's tough. He cares. He's about the right things.''

Noah Horchler led North Florida with 16 points. Garrett Sams (15), Ivan Gandia-Rosa (13) and J.T. Escobar (11) also reached double figures for the Ospreys.

Florida improved to 8-0 in the series, including wins in each of the last four years.

Locke and Ballard led the way in the latest one.

''It's all about confidence,'' Locke said. ''I feel like guys had the mentality of trying to defend our home court, and we needed to knock down shots to win.''

THE TAKEAWAY

North Florida: The Ospreys got a taste of what's to come with a challenging, non-conference schedule that includes trips to Minnesota, No. 15 Florida State and eighth-ranked Auburn in December. Coach Matthew Driscoll hopes it better prepares his guys for Atlantic-Sun Conference play.

Florida: The Gators notched their third win in as many games at home, all against overmatched opponents. Their next one in the O'Connell Center won't be a pushover since No. 9 Michigan State visits Dec. 8, which follows a game against West Virginia.

''I can tell you one thing: we're not shooting 57 percent against either one of those teams,'' White said.

UP NEXT

North Florida hosts Florida A&M on Thursday, playing at home for the first time in more than two weeks.

Florida plays West Virginia in the Jimmy V Classic next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

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Key Players
I. Gandia-Rosa
10 G
A. Nembhard
2 G
31.5 Min. Per Game 31.5
8.0 Pts. Per Game 8.0
5.8 Ast. Per Game 5.8
3.0 Reb. Per Game 3.0
44.0 Field Goal % 42.2
33.3 Three Point % 50.0
100.0 Free Throw % 55.6
+ 3 Ryan Burkhardt made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Carter Hendricksen 29.0
+ 3 Andrew Fava made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Isaiah Stokes 40.0
  Defensive rebound by Deaundrae Ballard 53.0
  Wajid Aminu missed free throw 53.0
  Personal foul on Isaiah Stokes 53.0
  Offensive rebound by Wajid Aminu 54.0
  Brian Coffey II missed jump shot 56.0
  Offensive rebound by Carter Hendricksen 1:02
  Wajid Aminu missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:04
  Defensive rebound by North Florida 1:19
  Deaundrae Ballard missed jump shot 1:21
Team Stats
Points 66 98
Field Goals 24-58 (41.4%) 39-69 (56.5%)
3-Pointers 9-26 (34.6%) 16-28 (57.1%)
Free Throws 9-11 (81.8%) 4-6 (66.7%)
Total Rebounds 26 42
Offensive 9 13
Defensive 14 27
Team 3 2
Assists 15 26
Steals 5 11
Blocks 0 6
Turnovers 15 11
Fouls 8 17
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 10 REB, 1 AST
18 PTS, 3 REB
12T
away team logo North Florida 2-5 333366
home team logo Florida 4-3 534598
Team Stats
away team logo North Florida 2-5 75.3 PPG 40.9 RPG 15.8 APG
home team logo Florida 4-3 67.8 PPG 36.3 RPG 12.1 APG
Key Players
0
N. Horchler F 16.0 PPG 9.3 RPG 1.3 APG 53.8 FG%
10
N. Locke G 9.4 PPG 2.3 RPG 0.6 APG 37.5 FG%
Top Scorers
N. Horchler F 16 PTS 10 REB 1 AST
N. Locke G 18 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
41.4 FG% 56.5
34.6 3PT FG% 57.1
81.8 FT% 66.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Horchler 16 10 1 8/10 0/1 0/0 1 35 0 0 0 3 7
G. Sams 15 2 1 4/12 1/5 6/6 0 25 3 0 5 1 1
I. Gandia-Rosa 13 3 4 5/8 3/4 0/0 2 27 1 0 5 1 2
J. Escobar 11 2 2 4/9 3/6 0/0 1 23 1 0 0 0 2
W. Aminu 3 2 2 0/5 0/2 3/5 0 25 0 0 1 2 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Horchler 16 10 1 8/10 0/1 0/0 1 35 0 0 0 3 7
G. Sams 15 2 1 4/12 1/5 6/6 0 25 3 0 5 1 1
I. Gandia-Rosa 13 3 4 5/8 3/4 0/0 2 27 1 0 5 1 2
J. Escobar 11 2 2 4/9 3/6 0/0 1 23 1 0 0 0 2
W. Aminu 3 2 2 0/5 0/2 3/5 0 25 0 0 1 2 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Burkhardt 6 0 0 2/5 2/4 0/0 1 17 0 0 0 0 0
B. Coffey II 2 1 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 13 0 0 1 0 1
E. Balogun 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 6 0 0 1 1 0
E. Lambright 0 0 2 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 9 0 0 1 0 0
C. Schach 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
C. Hendricksen 0 2 3 0/6 0/4 0/0 1 19 0 0 1 1 1
T. Day - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. James - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Copeland - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 66 23 15 24/58 9/26 9/11 8 200 5 0 15 9 14
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Locke 18 3 0 7/11 4/6 0/0 1 18 0 0 0 0 3
K. Allen 13 5 7 5/9 1/3 2/2 0 25 3 0 1 2 3
K. Hayes 12 5 1 6/7 0/0 0/0 3 20 2 2 2 2 3
K. Stone 10 4 0 3/5 2/2 2/4 2 21 0 1 1 3 1
A. Nembhard 3 3 11 1/2 1/1 0/0 1 22 0 0 0 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Locke 18 3 0 7/11 4/6 0/0 1 18 0 0 0 0 3
K. Allen 13 5 7 5/9 1/3 2/2 0 25 3 0 1 2 3
K. Hayes 12 5 1 6/7 0/0 0/0 3 20 2 2 2 2 3
K. Stone 10 4 0 3/5 2/2 2/4 2 21 0 1 1 3 1
A. Nembhard 3 3 11 1/2 1/1 0/0 1 22 0 0 0 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Ballard 15 3 0 6/10 3/6 0/0 0 20 1 1 1 0 3
K. Johnson 11 4 1 5/8 1/2 0/0 0 19 1 0 0 2 2
J. Hudson 6 6 3 2/7 2/4 0/0 3 19 1 0 1 1 5
M. Okauru 3 2 1 1/2 1/1 0/0 2 13 2 0 1 0 2
A. Fava 3 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
D. Bassett 2 4 0 1/5 0/2 0/0 3 12 0 2 2 2 2
I. Stokes 2 1 2 1/2 0/0 0/0 2 9 1 0 2 0 1
M. Krause 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
G. Gak - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 98 40 26 39/69 16/28 4/6 17 200 11 6 11 13 27