Florida Gators senior guard Kenny Boynton emphatically declared that his extended slump is over as he led his team to a 79-58 victory over the Yale Bulldogs on Sunday evening by scoring a career-high-tying 28 points while becoming the new school record holder for three-pointers made in a career with 290.
Boynton hit a career-high eight treys in the game and finished 8-for-10 from downtown – at one point draining six-straight to open the second half – to pass both Erving Walker (285) and Lee Humphey (288) on Florida’s all-time list. He already held the Gators’ record for three-point attempts but extended that as well with a new total of 835.
Sunday’s game was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for senior forward Erik Murphy, who grew up approximately 80 minutes away from New Haven, CT in South Kingstown, RI. Despite having nearly 200 people from his hometown board two busses to take the 80-minute trip, Murphy (bruised ribs) was sidelined for the contest but watched on as his classmate picked up the slack.
Both teams started off slow and sloppy, committing 11 combined turnovers (seven for Yale alone) in the first seven minutes of the game. A transition trey by redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario concluded a 7-0 run that spotted Florida an early eight-point lead, but it would not last long.
The Bulldogs responded with a 13-6 scoring stretch that reduced their deficit to a single point with 5:33 left in the opening half. After a timeout by head coach Billy Donovan that included some strong words for his players, the Gators responded by ending the first 20 minutes on a 14-3 run (9-0 over the final 3:21) to take a 12-point lead.
Florida opened the second half on absolute fire, scoring 12-straight points by forcing four Yale turnovers with its stingy press. The Gators (10-2) increased their lead to 24 points by putting together a ridiculous 21-0 spanning the half and kept the Bulldogs (5-11) at bay for the duration of the contest.
Boynton’s 28 points led both teams, but he was just one of three Florida players to score in double-digits. Rosario chipped in 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting with a career-high three steals, and junior F Will Yeguete was an efficient 6-for-8 from the field for 14 points with nine rebounds. Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin helped fuel the Gators’ offensive outburst with a career-high 10 assists while hitting 2-of-3 shots for four points. Junior F Casey Prather also contributed nine points with a career-high six boards.
Yale was led by F Justin Sheers, who posted 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting and picked up four scrappy steals. Guards Javier Duren and Armani Cotton combined to go 9-of-13 form the field for 26 points.
Now having concluded non-conference play with a 10-2 record, Florida looks ahead to its Southeastern Conference schedule, which begins with a home game against Georgia on Wednesday. The game will air live on Comcast SportsSouth at 7 p.m.