GAINESVILLE — After having its original season opener shortened due to unsafe playing conditions aboard the USS Bataan on Friday, No. 10 Florida opened its season Sunday afternoon with an 84-35 victory over Alabama State.
The Gators held the Hornets to nine first-half points (2-of-25 from the field), and the 35 points were the fewest by a Florida opponent in a season opener since Stetson scored 46 in 2009.
"I think it kind of speaks for itself, but we brought a bunch of freshmen in here (seven) to play the No. 10 team in the country," ASU coach Lewis Jackson said. "We knew it was going to be a battle for us."
The Gators never trailed and led 47-9 at the half. With junior guard Scottie Wilbekin suspended, senior Kenny Boynton took over the primary point guard role, scoring a team-high 22 in 23 minutes with five assists and zero turnovers.
"I felt good at the point," Boynton said. "I just wanted to let it come to me and not turn the ball over."
Florida coach Billy Donovan said he had been concerned about what kind of intensity his team would bring into the game, considering the opponent and the disappointment of Friday's night's cancellation against Georgetown.
"You've got to be able to have a competitive maturity to move from one thing to the next," Donovan said. "I was pleased with the way our guys responded coming out of the Georgetown game up to this point."
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]