Florida swarms on defense, spreads offense around to throttle North Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Behind a balanced effort and six double-figure scorers, No. 8 Florida dominated the visiting North Florida Ospreys 108-68 on Thursday night.

Junior KeVaughn Allen was Florida's top scorer with 18 points. The balanced scoring helped the Gators (2-0) dismantle the Ospreys (0-4) from the beginning, with Keith Stone, Gorjok Gak and Allen contributing some emphatic dunks along the way.

Allen aside, Stone was next on Florida's balanced scoring sheet with 14 points. He was followed by Jalen Hudson with 13 and Egor Koulechov, Deaundrae Ballard and Gak with 12 each.

Koulechov's performance was a shell of his 34-point opening night performance that broke Florida's scoring record for a debut. The transfer from Rice was still prominent with his 12 points, but his accuracy from 3-point range fell from 6-of-9 to 2-of-5.

Senior point guard Chris Chiozza, who started Thursday after coming off the bench in Florida's season opener, had nine points, seven rebounds and a team-best six assists.

Florida's biggest problem was foul trouble. Three Gators accrued four fouls each. But that was minor trouble for the Gators.

And despite the fouls, Florida's defense was stifling. It suffocated the Ospreys and forced them to settle for poor shots, although their 68 points were their second-most so far in this young season.

Their effort was led by sophomore Trip Day's 14 points.

Every player who got into the game for the Gators scored, including walk-ons Mak Krause and Andrew Fava, who were just added to the team's roster about two weeks ago. Krause made a free throw and Fava made a layup for their first collegiate baskets, leading to the loudest ovations of the night.

That pretty much said everything as the Gators cruised to their second consecutive win.

The loss dropped the Ospreys to 0-7 all-time against Florida.

BIG PICTURE

North Florida: UNF is off to its worst start since the 2008-09 season, when the Ospreys lost their first eight games. A tough early slate against No. 2 Michigan State, Michigan, VCU and now No. 8 Florida has left North Florida without a win with a fellow winless opponent -- Mount St. Mary's (0-3) -- up next.

Florida: The Gators got off to an impressive start with a 42-point win over Gardner-Webb in their season opener. With aspirations of returning to the Elite Eight and exceeding it, a 40-point win over an overmatched North Florida squad doesn't show the team can compete with elite opponents. It also doesn't show it can't.

LOSING THEIR LEAD

North Florida's Ivan Gandia-Rosa opened the game with a quick 3-pointer. Allen responded with his own 3-pointer seconds later, and the Gators never trailed from there.

CHANGING IT UP

Florida coach Mike White made some alterations to his starting lineup, opting for Gak at center over Stone and Chiozza at guard over Hudson.

UP NEXT

North Florida will spend the weekend in Spartanburg, South Carolina, playing in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on the mainland bracket. The Ospreys play Mount St. Mary's on Saturday and Wofford on Sunday.

The Gators finish their three-game season-opening home stand against New Hampshire on Sunday. Then they're off to Portland, Oregon, for the PK80, where they will open against Stanford on Thanksgiving.