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No. 4 Florida stifles No. 13 East Tennessee State in second half

NCAA Basketball Tournament - East Tennessee State v Florida

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 16: Devin Robinson #1 of the Florida Gators reacts after a play against the East Tennessee State Buccaneers during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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Devin Robinson scored 24 points and Kasey Hill chipped in with 14 points, five boards, five assists and a pair of steals as No. 4 seed Florida used a big second half run to pull away from a scrappy East Tennessee State team, 80-65.

Robinson was terrific in the second half, but Hill was probably Florida’s best player. In addition to stuffing the stat sheet, he was also the guy tasked with face-guarding ETSU star T.J. Cromer during Florida’s game-changing run. The Buccaneers took a 35-33 lead in the first minute of the second half, but Florida responded by going on a 26-8 run over the next ten minutes, a stretch where ETSU looked incapable of running offense.

Hill was a major reason for that, as he took Cromer out of the game during that stretch.

To his credit, Cromer finished with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting, but the ETSU just couldn’t survive the surge from the Gators.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this win is that Florida was able to get it done despite the fact that KeVaughn Allen, the program’s leading scorer, finished with just seven points on 1-for-11 shooting on the day. The one field goal that he did hit, however, came early in the 26-8 run, a three that pushed Florida’s lead to eight points for the first time in the second half.

With the win, Florida advances to take on No. 5 Virginia, who knocked off No. 12 UNC Wilmington earlier in the day.