No. 10 Florida handles No. 22 Wisconsin 74-56

Updated at: 11/14/2012 8:05 PM
By MARK LONG

(AP) GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Erik Murphy tied a career-high with 24 points just days after dealing with an illness, and No. 10 Florida beat 22nd-ranked Wisconsin 74-56 on Wednesday night.

Murphy made all 10 of his shots, including two from 3-point range, as the short-handed Gators enjoyed a double-digit lead most of the night. He also had seven rebounds.

Mike Rosario added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists for Florida (2-0), and Kenny Boynton chipped in 10.

Sam Dekker and Jared Berggren had 11 points apiece for Wisconsin (1-1).

The Gators, playing without point guard Scottie Wilbekin (suspension) and forward Casey Prather (concussion), essentially won the game with fast starts in both halves. Florida scored the first nine points of the game and the first seven after intermission.

Murphy was involved in both runs. He made a baseline hook that seemed to get him started early. He added a jumper, a putback and a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 16-6.

The Badgers (1-1), meanwhile, came out flat, missing their first six shots _ including five from behind the arc.

That hole proved too big to overcome against the hot-shooting Gators.

Florida hit 18 of 24 shots (75 percent) in the first 20 minutes and extended the lead to 19 (50-31) early in the second half. Boynton converted the 13th four-point play of his career to open the second half. Murphy followed with a post basket, and then Boyton added a driving layup.

The Badgers never cut the lead below 12 the rest of the way.

Murphy had been questionable to play. He missed practice earlier this week with an illness that caused bad headaches, nausea and vomiting. Not only did he play, he also started.

And didn’t miss!

He became the fourth player in school history and 18th in Southeastern Conference history to take at least 10 shots in a game and make them all.

The Gators probably needed his effort after coach Billy Donovan was forced to practice with four upperclassmen and four freshmen earlier in the week. It’s unknown when Wilbekin will be reinstated, and Prather could miss at least another week after sustaining two concussions in practice during a nine-day span.

The only negative for Florida was 20 turnovers. Playing without Wilbekin, Rosario and Boynton shared ball-handling duties, and the Gators turned it over 12 times in before the break.

But they had enough offense to make the turnovers negligible.

Freshman Michael Frazier II had eight points and five rebounds for Florida. Fellow forward Will Yeguete finished with nine points and eight boards.

It was the first of several challenges before SEC play. The Gators also play UCF, Marquette, Florida State, Arizona and Kansas State before league play _the toughest non-conference slate in Donovan’s 17 seasons in Gainesville.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)