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Florida beats Northwestern St 79-47 in NCAA opener

AUSTIN, Texas – Erik Murphy had 18 points to lead four Florida players in double figures and the Gators shut down the NCAA’s highest-scoring team Friday night, beating Northwestern State 79-47 in the second round of the South Regional.

No. 3 seed Florida turned this one into a rout with a 19-1 run in the second half and held the 14th-seeded Demons (23-9) to their fewest points this season – 34 below their average.

Patric Young had 16 points and nine rebounds for Florida (27-7). Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin both scored 11.

DeQuan Hicks had 12 points for the Demons, who upset Iowa as the No. 14 seed in their last NCAA tournament seven years ago.

They couldn’t repeat that feat against the Gators, who lost in the regional finals each of the past two seasons.

Florida plays Minnesota or UCLA on Sunday.

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