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Gators rule; what's new?

UF surpasses 100 points for the third time this season as it ties a school record with its 10th straight win.

©Associated Press
December 31, 2001

GAINESVILLE -- The Gators made it look easy. Again.

Brett Nelson scored 19 and Udonis Haslem added 18 as third-ranked Florida used three big runs to tie a school record with its 10th straight victory, 107-55 over Belmont on Sunday.

"I think our guys really played unselfishly, and that was the thing that was great to see," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "At times I thought we were devastating with our pressure and the way they were flying around and moving."

Florida (11-1) also won 10 consecutive games in 1951-52.

Donovan's squad has won its past six games by an average on 31.7 points.

Florida put together runs of 14-0, 12-0 and 23-0 to take a 63-20 halftime lead. The Gators have seven runs of 11-0 or greater this season.

"I thought they (Florida) played hard for a game that they didn't have to worry about," Belmont coach Rick Byrd said. "I told our guys right before we went out, our best chance to be competitive was that this game matter more to us than it did them."

The Gators scored 37 points off 22 Belmont turnovers. Florida has forced 20 or more turnovers in 10 straight games.

"Our turnovers and (Florida's) offensive rebounds is what kept it from being competitive, which we would have liked," Byrd said.

Florida outrebounded Belmont 43-25, including 16 on the offensive end.

Florida had five players score in double figures in surpassing 100 points for the third time.

"I think they can start to see, when they play with intensity, that we can be a very, very deep and explosive basketball team," Donovan said.

Wes Burtner had 23 points for Belmont (5-6), which has lost twice against ranked opponents this season. The Bruins were beaten by Stanford 97-63 on Dec. 18.

Belmont went the final 9:14 of the first half without a field goal. The drought ended a minute into the second half on a jumper by Scotty Blackwell.

Florida's 11 wins before January tied a school mark. The Gators, who open the SEC season Saturday against South Carolina, have won 13 straight games at home.

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