UF rolls to easy victory over North Florida

November, 17, 2011
11/17/11
10:02
PM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Travel issues and a short turnaround had little effect on the Florida basketball team against North Florida on Thursday night. In fact, it was the visiting Ospreys that seemed to be out of sorts at the O'Connell Center.

Florida was stuck for an extra night in Columbus, Ohio, because of fog after Tuesday's loss to Ohio State. The Gators didn't arrive in Gainesville until late Wednesday morning, which gave them less than a day to get ready for North Florida. But Florida (2-1) avoided a sluggish start by taking a 14-point lead midway through the first half and rolled to a 91-55 victory.

"I think that says a lot about our focus," junior guard Kenny Boynton said. "We got in yesterday morning. Coach [Billy Donovan] preached to us last night in film that we've got to have a great deal of focus coming into today's game. We wanted to come out and not have any excuses. No one cares about what happened the night before. We just wanted to come out and play well."

North Florida managed just 22 points and committed 12 turnovers in the first half, which ended with Florida ahead by 17 points. The Ospreys (1-2) shot just 34.5 percent from the field and haven't shot better than 34.6 percent in any of their first three games.

Player of the game: Boynton led all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Boynton also had five assists and four rebounds. He has scored at least 15 points in every game this season and is averaging 18.0 points per game.

"He's really made some great steps," Donovan said. "I've seen improvement every year since he's been here. He came in as a prolific scorer and that's what he knew. Last year he had a better understanding of shot selection and better passing. Right now he's done a really nice job with assist-to-turnover ratio, driving it and not just relying on the [3-pointer]. He's starting to add some different things to his game."

Stat of the game: The Gators continue to struggle from the free-throw line. UF went 16 for 29 against North Florida and is shooting just 59 percent from the free-throw line this season.

What did we learn? Erik Murphy may be Florida's most improved player. He has a chance to have a good season offensively because opponents will get caught worrying about Boynton, Erving Walker, Mike Rosario and Bradley Beal on the perimeter and overlook the 6-foot-10 junior forward. Murphy is shooting 6 for 11 from 3-point range.

Noteworthy: The Gators are 23-1 against teams from the Atlantic Sun. The lone loss came to Jacksonville last season, and the Gators play host to the Dolphins on Nov. 25. ... Walker -- who is listed at 5-foot-8 -- has grabbed 12 rebounds in his last two games. ... Beal posted his first career double double (12 points, 10 rebounds). ... The Gators had five players in double figures for the second time this season. . ... Florida is 3-0 against North Florida and has won every game by at least 36 points.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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