Records/Career Highs Spark Gator Men’s Hoops Win Over Yale

Throw GPA and SAT scores out the window.  Ivy League Yale (5-11) was schooled Sunday  as the Florida men’s basketball team (10-2) is now on another win streak after back and forth win/losses in their prior four games.  Even without senior forward Erik Murphy who did not play because of sore ribs, Florida easily took out Yale 79-58 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  As for Florida head coach Billy Donovan, many adjustments needed to be made on the road to make up for the loss of his team’s tallest player.

Everyone else seemed to step up without Murphy.   Senior guard Kenny Boynton looked unstoppable throughout the entire game as he matched a career high with 28 points on an outstanding 9 of 12 shooting.  Even more amazing, Boynton shot 8 of 10 from the arc and now holds the school record for threes made with 290, two more than former sharp shooter Lee Humphrey.   Boynton says he is honored to now be mentioned in the same breath as Humphrey.

Boynton wasn’t the only one putting up big numbers.  The team shot 54.2 percent in the first half to Yale’s 36 percent.  The Gators also held the Bulldogs to just 2 of 9 from 3-point land in the first half after giving up 11 big ones to the same team last year.  The Bulldogs were no match for the size of the Gators as Florida broke the game wide open with about five minutes left in the opening half.  Florida went on a 14-3 run to end the half and were up by 12 going into the break with a 35-23 lead.

Florida also scored the first 12 points of the second half to bust the game open.  The flurry  caused Yale to call three timeouts within the first five minutes of the half.  While the game was truly never in reach in the second period, Donovan wished his team would have played better defense down the stretch.   He wasn’t happy with the 50 percent shooting by the Bulldogs in the last half.

While defense may have let up, offense was a totally different story.  Adding to the momentum were Scotty Wilbekin and Will Yeguete.  Wilbekin shared point guard duties with Boynton and shined in the role.  Wilbekin had a career high 10 assists to go along with four points while Yeguete was just as efficent with 14 points in his starting role.  Mike Rosario was the only other Gator in double-digit scoring with 13 points.  Casey Prather contributed off the bench with nine points.  As a team, the Florida shot 30-50 (60%) including an astounding 9-17 (52.9%) from three.  The team was also efficient at the line going 10-13 (76.9%).

For the Yale Bulldogs, double digit contributions were made by just three players as   Justin Sears had 15 points, Armani Cotton 12 and Javier Duren added 14 off the bench.

With the win Florida is back on track and has their first back-to-back win streak since snapping a seven game win streak to start the season last month.  Hoping this is a sign of things to come, Donovan just wants his team to get back to playing at home as the team gears up for conference play.

Their next game is in just a few days as the Gators return home to face the Georgia Bulldogs in the Stephen C. O’Connell center on Wednesday night.   That game can be heard on both ESPN Radio 850/900 and our sister station Country 103.7 the Gator starting with the pregame show at 6:25 pm.  Tip-off is set for 7:00 pm.

About Kevin J. Roberts

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