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Florida Basketball Annihilates Alabama State In Home Opener

GAINESVILLE, FL. – Following an exhibition victory against Nebraska Kearney that disappointed head coach Billy Donovan and an anticlimactic no contest against Georgetown, the tenth ranked Florida men’s basketball team exterminated the Alabama State Hornets 84-35 on Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.

The lopsided win marked the 22nd consecutive home opener won by the Gators and the 17th in a row won under the guidance of Donovan.

The Alabama State defense provided little resistance for the Gators up tempo offense, led by guard Kenny Boynton, who led all players with 22 points and five assists in merely 22 minutes of action.  Shooting 8 of 10 from the field and 4 of 4 from beyond the arc, the senior from Pompano Beach, Florida, became just the eighth player in Florida men’s basketball history to tally 1,600 career points.  Early in the second half, Boynton passed Neal Walk for seventh all time on the scorers list.

“I just tried to take open shots” Boynton said, following his first time playing point guard. “The main thing was not turning the ball over and finding open teammates; I think we did a good job of that.”

Erik Murphy drained a trio of three pointers en route to a 15 point game, while stalwart center Patric Young posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds along with a pair of blocks.

Hornets guards Bobby Brown and Joshua Freelove combined for 26 of Alabama State’s 35 total points, scoring 14 and 12 respectively. Brown led ASU in rebounds with six.

Florida opened the game on a 13-3 run in the opening five minutes. After a timeout and a pair of free throws by Alabama State’s Timothy Coleman, the Gators opened the flood gates and poured in 24 unanswered points over a span of approximately 10 minutes.

Kenny Boynton’s milestone achieving three point shot as the clock ran out pushed the Gators lead to 47-9 at the conclusion of the first half, setting the record for the fewest points allowed in a single half in NCAA men’s basketball competition during the shot clock era.

The Gators outscored their SWAC opponent in the second half 37-26, highlighted by seven points and four rebounds by freshman guard Braxton Ogbueze, while the starting five played limited minutes.

All four freshmen, Ogbueze, Dillon Graham, Michael Frazier II, and DeVon Walker saw significant minutes, on the court for nearly half of the game.

With the win, the Gators begin the season at 1-0, while Alabama State drops to 0-2.

The Gators have two days rest prior to a big test against 23rd ranked Wisconsin on Wednesday night at home.

About Joel Sebastianelli

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