EditorsNote: updates second graf with Friday matchups
Deaundrae Ballard scored 19 points as Florida used a big defensive effort in the first half to roll past Stanford 72-49 on Thursday night in a losers’ bracket semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The Gators (3-2) earned a berth in the fifth-place game on Friday against Butler. Stanford (2-3) plays Middle Tennessee in the seventh-place game on Friday.
Florida, which lost to Oklahoma in the opening round of the tournament, led by 19 points at the half and never looked back. The Gators and Stanford played a relatively even second half, with both teams shooting better than 55 percent after halftime
KeVaughn Allen added 13 points for the Gators while Noah Locke scored 11 for Florida, which had a 15-2 edge in steals.
Cormac Ryan led the Cardinal with 12 points, all in the second half, with no other Stanford player scoring more than six points.
Florida never trailed, rolling out to a 14-4 lead after two free throws by Allen with 10:02 to play in the first half before stretching the advantage to 21 points at 28-7 after a bucket by Johnson with 4:48 left.
The Cardinal finally reached double digits on the scoreboard with a layup by Josh Sharma with 2:47 to play in the half but still trailed 30-11.
Florida settled for a 32-13 lead at intermission despite the fact that it shot just 44 percent on its field goals in first half. But that far outpaced Stanford, which missed 18 of its 23 shots from the floor and was 1 for 10 from beyond the arc in the half.
Ballard led all scorers with 12 points in the half — just one point less than Stanford’s entire offensive output — while Sharma managed to score six points for the Cardinal over the first 20 minutes of play.
—Field Level Media