JACKSONVILLE — It was a pick-your-poison game for Rider on Friday night against No. 12 Florida. Most of the time, the Broncs made the wrong choice.
The Gators (7-2) used the strong inside presence of center Patric Young in the first half and then turned to their outside shooting in the final 20 minutes to pull away for a 90-69 victory at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
Kenny Boynton scored 18 of his 26 in the second half to lead Florida.
Young was 5 of 6 from the field in the first half when he scored all 12 of his points. He had seven of his 10 rebounds in the first half as the Gators took a 43-26 lead.
Rider was in a zone defense, paying particular attention to the outside shooting threat of Florida's guards, which left Young free inside the paint.
"My teammates were able to find me in the first half when they were in that zone," said Young, who was returning to his hometown where he led Providence High to a state title.
Florida, which entered the game second in the nation by averaging 11 3-pointers, bettered that mark with 13 3s in 28 attempts. Florida's three starting guards, Boynton, freshman Bradley Beal and Erving Walker combined to go 12 of 23 from 3-point range.
The three-guard attack took control in the second half.
"I didn't think we could match up with them man-for-man so we leaned on the zone," Rider coach Tommy Dempsey said. "They spread out and you can't guard them all. Their shooters are harder to guard in man coverage because they're constantly beating you off the dribble and then you're always looking for help.
"They play together so well and they pass the ball so well, I thought our best chance to stay with them was in a zone. But in the second half, once they caught fire, they just put the game away."
Beal and Walker both made two 3s in the opening 5 minutes of the second half. When Scottie Wilbekin hit another 3 at the 14:46 mark, the Gators held their biggest lead of the game at 65-38.
Thirty seconds later, Boynton added his third 3-pointer as Florida made its first six shots from behind the arc.
"I feel bad for the other team because they have to try and decide who they're going to stop. Do you watch Pat inside or concentrate on the guards from 3-point range?" said Beal who was 3-for-8 from long range and finished with 18 points.
"We took what the defense gave us," said Boynton, who was 5-for-9 on 3s. "Plus we did a good job in protecting the ball with only the one turnover in the first half, six for the game."