Florida Gators basketball (2-0) opened the home portion of its 2015-16 season Monday by upending the North Carolina A&T Aggies (0-2) at Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
With the 104-54 victory, the Gators won their first home game under new head coach Mike White and improved to 26-0 all-time against teams from the MEAC. Florida also scored 100+ points for the first time since 2011 and registered its 21st largest margin of victory ever.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Monday’s home opener with five quick-hitters:
It was over when: Any hope North Carolina A&T had of getting back in the game was erased by redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith, who broke out of a slump with back-to-back threes as part of a 10-0 run that pushed Florida ahead 62-31 with 15:34 to play. Finney-Smith shot just 4-of-10 but hit 3-of-6 triples and hauled in a team-high 10 boards.
Prominent players: After a relatively quiet performance in his return to the court on Friday, redshirt junior guard DeVon Walker was nails for the Gators, posting a team-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four boards; he filled up the stat sheet with an assist, steal and block, too. Also impressive once again was sophomore F Devin Robinson, who went 5-of-9 from the field but hit all three of his free throws to finish with tied with Walker with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Standout stat: Florida shot exceedingly well from beyond the arc, hitting 15-of-29 attempts. Eight of the 10 Gators that attempted a three drained at least one, and UF went 8-for-13 from downtown in the second half.
Still dealing with issues: UF committed 23 fouls and 13 turnovers on Monday.
What it means: Nothing. You’re supposed to take care of your kids, and UF is supposed to beat NC A&T. The Gators topping the Aggies by 50 is not particularly noteworthy either as Florida has beat MEAC teams by an average of 36 points in four prior meetings since 2010.
Next up: The Gators will hit the road again to play in the neutral-site portion of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, taking on St. Joseph’s on Saturday and either Old Dominion or Purdue on Sunday. UF’s game Saturday will tip at 2:30 p.m. and air live only on ESPN3.com. Should the Gators win, they will play on ESPN2 Sunday at a yet-to-be-determined time.
Everything else: Redshirt sophomore center John Egbunu made 6-of-7 field goals for 13 points with five rebounds and two blocks … redshirt freshman G Brandone Francis-Ramirez (13 points) and sophomore point guard Chris Chiozza (11 points) combined to go 6-of-10 from beyond the arc … junior PG Kasey Hill notched a team-high eight dimes … Florida had 50 bench points and averaged 1.43 points per possession … the Gators never trailed, breaking a tie 44 seconds into the game and leading for 39:16