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updated: 3/24/2013 7:50 PM

Florida's big first half sinks Minnesota

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  • Florida's Mike Rosario reacts after scoring against Minnesota during the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Austin, Texas.

      Florida's Mike Rosario reacts after scoring against Minnesota during the first half of a third-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Austin, Texas.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mike Rosario scored 25 points and Florida used an overpowering first half to roll past Minnesota and into the NCAA tournament round of 16 for third consecutive year with a 78-64 win Sunday in the South Regional.

The No. 3 seed Gators (28-7) shot a blistering 65 percent in the first half and led by 21 by halftime. The win earns Florida a return trip to the Lone Star State to play their next game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

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Andre Hollins scored 25 points to lead the No. 11-seed Gophers (21-13). Hollins' 3-point shooting sparked a second-half rally that pulled Minnesota within seven points, but Rosario's sixth 3-pointer with 3 minutes left pushed the Gators' lead back to 16 and effectively locked up the win.

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