Though the score may not suggest it, the Florida Gators men’s basketball team (2-0) grinded out a 69-49 victory over the Georgia Southern Eagles (1-2) Wednesday night in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Junior forward and sixth man Chandler Parsons led the Gators with great energy off the bench, scoring 15 points and 12 rebounds to record the team’s second double-double of the season.
Freshman guard Kenny Boynton and redshirt junior transfer center Vernon Macklin were the other Florida players who shined offensively, scoring 22 and 15 points, respectively. Boynton shot 50% from the field while Macklin was 7-9 adding seven rebounds to his performance. Through two games, Boynton, Macklin and Parsons have accounted for 63.6% of the Gators’ offense (91 of 143 points). Sophomore point guard Erving Walker led the team with six assists and, though he was 0-10 from the field, added nine points on free throws.
The Eagles kept the Gators in check for much of the contest, going into the half with Florida only holding a 26-25 lead. Up 55-47 with 4:17 remaining, the Gators slowly pulled away to their eventual 20-point margin of victory. For the second straight game, Florida was on the verge of breaking a 579-game record of scoring at least one three-pointer. Parsons nailed one with around six minutes to go, and Boynton followed with the first make of his career from beyond the arc. The Gators are only 3-29 from three-point range on the season, an absurdly low number for a Billy Donovan-coached team.
Florida basketball returns to action Friday when they face the Troy Trojans at home in Gainesville, FL, at 7 p.m. The game is being carried by FOX Sports Florida, so be sure to check your local listings for availability.
Note: Louisville Cardinals head basketball coach Rick Pitino, father of new Gators assistant Richard Pitino, was in the house watching the game with Bill Donovan, Sr.