Kenny Boynton sets school threes record on career night as Florida routs Yale 79-58

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.

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1/4: Fixing Boynton, Murphy’s homecoming

With the No. 9/13 Florida Gators (9-2) set to play their final non-conference game of the regular season (and first game of the new year) on the road against the Yale Bulldogs (5-10) on Sunday, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media Friday to discuss his team’s issues and how certain players can improve.

FIXING THE GATORS

The Gators have had more than a full week since their last game, giving Donovan and the coaching staff plenty of time to get the team ready for their road contest against the Bulldogs. Though Florida won its showdown against Air Force on Dec. 29, the team is 2-2 over its last four games and has been reeling after starting the season on fire. Donovan addressed the downswing and noted that the extra practice has been just what the Gators needed.

“This has been really good…for at least myself,” he said with a wry grin. “I think for our guys it’s been pretty demanding. I think any time that you’re in a situation where there’s no school and there’s no time constraints, really in a lot of ways you’re in a position where you have unlimited time to work and get better. … It’s been a good opportunity to break things down and try to show our guys areas where we got to get better.”

Asked what he has emphasized over the break, Donovan pointed to efficiency on the defensive end and unselfishness on offense.

“Clearly our defensive numbers are not what they were earlier in the year. I think when you look at that, for me, I’m not looking at it so much in terms of field goal percentage or three-point field goal percentage but what is our defensive efficiency rating? How many points are we giving up per possession? Generally you give up a lot of points when you foul and put teams to the free throw line and you give up three-point shots,” he said. “We’ve had some slippage there defensively that we need to get better.

“I also think offensively our ability to understand how to utilize each other and make the right decision, the right play. We are still getting guys down the lane, in the paint, which is where we want, but they’ve got to make the right read to see who’s open and make those passes to one another to make the game easier for one another. ”

Senior guard Kenny Boynton is one player who thinks the extra practice has paid off for Florida. “I think we’ve turned our intensity up in practices. We’ve been going two-a-days, so as a team we’ve been addressing the weaknesses we have. As a team we’ve gotten better, we just have to translate it to the game,” he said.

Read the rest of this post…after the break!
Continue Reading » 1/4: Fixing Boynton, Murphy’s homecoming

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No. 10 Florida tops Yale 90-70 to close out 2011

Attempting to put a good taste back in their mouths after being upset by Rutgers on the road Thursday, the No. 10 Florida Gators (11-3) overpowered the Yale Bulldogs (8-4) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL on New Year’s Eve, defeating their Ivy League opponent 90-70 just eight hours before closing out 2011.

Gators junior guard Kenny Boynton and Bulldogs forward Greg Mangano led the way for their squads as each registered a game-high 26 points. Boynton posted his on an efficient 8-of-12 shooting while going 5-for-7 from downtown, while Mangano hit 11-of-18 shots from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Yale started off by hitting three straight shots from downtown to take a 9-0 advantage, but Florida immediately answered with a 17-3 run and 29-6 scoring stretch to take a 29-15 lead with 9:55 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs hung around though and used an 8-1 run late in the half to pull within five of the Gators. Consecutive three-pointers by Boynton – including his traditional four-point play – kept Florida ahead of Yale, but the Bulldogs went 9-for-14 from downtown in the opening half and kept the Gators’ advantage at 11 points heading into the break.

With Florida holding a 12-point lead three minutes into the second half, Yale put together a 6-0 run to cut their deficit to just six points. However, Gators junior F Erik Murphy responded with back-to-back makes from beyond the arc to negate the run. Minutes later, Boynton hit a pair of treys and Murphy added yet another as part of a 9-2 run that gave UF a 17-point lead.

Florida kept their foot on the pedal from that point forward. Freshman Bradley Beal took a great pass in for a one-handed dunk and followed that up with an alley-oop to sophomore center Patric Young. Young added seven more points as part of a personal 9-0 run that put the Gators ahead 83-57 with less than four minutes left in the game.

Complementing Boynton’s stellar performance, Young finished with 19 points, five rebounds and a career-high five assists while shooting 60 percent from the floor and hitting 7-of-8 shots from the free throw line.

Murphy posted a career-high 18 points while going 5-for-7 from downtown, and Beal added 11 points (including three highlight dunks) along with eight boards.

Mangano also registered a game-high 15 rebounds (five offensive) and blocked two shots in the contest, completing his impressive effort for Yale.

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Gators 31-28 (11-5 offensive), but Florida outshot Yale from the floor (53.4 to 42.2 percent), three-point range (57.1 to 50.0 percent) and the charity stripe (69.6 to 62.5 percent). UF had 24 assists on 31 made baskets and sported a 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio (24:7) on the afternoon.

Florida will begin 2012 with their final non-conference game as UF will host UAB on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. The game will air live on FOX Sports Network (check your local listings). The Gators begin SEC action on Jan. 7 with an 11 a.m. contest at Tennessee.

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