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Gator Bite: Virginia Trounced By Florida In NCAA Tournament

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Scottie Wilbekin #5 (C) and Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators fight for a loose ball against Jontel Evans #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (credit: Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Scottie Wilbekin #5 (C) and Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators fight for a loose ball against Jontel Evans #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (credit: Eric Francis/Getty Images)

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bradley Beal had 14 points and 11 rebounds, reserve Casey Prather scored a career-high 14 and Florida pulled away in the second half for a 71-45 victory Friday over Virginia in the NCAA West Regional.

The Gators finished the first half on a 17-4 run to shake off a slow start and get out to a 30-22 lead. They shot 70 percent in the second half, pushing their lead to more than 20 points.

No. 7 seed Florida (24-10), which made it to the regional finals last season. The No. 10 Cavaliers (22-10) are in the tournament for the first time since 2007.

Mike Scott had 15 points for Virginia.

Florida, averaging a nation-leading 9.9 3-pointers a game, was 4 of 23 from long range but made 24 of 30 from inside the arc.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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