GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Billy Donovan was worried. His 10th-ranked Gators had arrived back on campus 36 hours earlier after playing its poorest game of the season.
He was concerned about his team being tired and dispirited after being upset in double-overtime Thursday night at Rutgers.Not to worry.With Kenny Boynton scoring 26 points the Gators raced to a 90-70 victory over Yale on Saturday with so signs of fatigue or the holiday blues.
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"For them to come back and do what they did, I was really proud of them," Donovan said."I thought it was one of the best games we've played this year," Donovan said. "Coming out of the Rutgers game and as bad as we were ... and on a one-day prep, I was really proud of them. "Patric Young added 19 points, Erik Murphy had 18 and freshman Bradley Beal scored 11 for Florida (11-3), which hosts UAB on Jan. 3 before opening its Southeastern Conference schedule Jan. 7, at Tennessee.Boynton, who came into the game averaging 18.9 points, had a big first half making 6 of 7 shots, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range."He's efficient, he's shooting a good percentage," Donovan said. "To me that's the sign of a great scorer. There's a lot of guys who can score if they get a lot of shots."Greg Mangano led Yale (8-4) with 26 points and Austin Morgan added 10. Mangano's game-high 15 rebounds helped the Bulldogs to a 37-32 rebound advantage."We were good today, but we had to be great to win," Yale coach James Jones said. "We were not great."Boynton, who matched his season-high in scoring, had 18 points by halftime as the Gators took a 46-35 lead. Florida held its biggest lead at 83-57 with 4:04 left.Florida took the lead for keeps at 13-12 on a basket by Murphy after Yale started the game by making three straight 3-point shots to grab a 9-0 lead in the opening 2 minutes."We're figuring it out," Donovan said. "They (players) are all getting better."Yale hit 9 of 14 from 3-point range in the opening half to keep the score respectable with the 6-foot-10 Mangano perfect on three tries from long distance. Mangano had 11 points and seven rebounds in the first half.Both teams shot well from 3-point range. Yale connected on 11 of 21 with Mangano hitting 5 of 7, while Florida was 12 of 21 with Boynton and Murphy each good on 5 of 7.Florida shot 53.4 percent overall to Yale's 42.9 percent.Yale was also coming off a tough road loss Thursday night. Yale rallied from a 19-point deficit before having a six-game winning streak snapped at Wake Forest."What's good about these games is it gives us a gauge in terms of what we need to do to get better," Jones said about Yale's two-game southern swing. "Now we get to go back and take care of some of the ways we were exposed."The Gators blew a seven-point lead in the final 3 minutes of regulation and a three-point lead with less than 20 seconds to go in the first overtime before losing at Rutgers. All three of Florida's losses this season have come on the road, the others against Syracuse and Ohio State, the nation's Nos. 1 and 2 teams. The Gators are 8-0 at home and 3-0 at neutral sites.