Preview: Florida begins Phil Knight Invitational against New Hampshire

TV: SEC Network

Time: 6 p.m.

Eighth-ranked Florida has scored more than 100 points in its two games this season, but the Gators are talking more about their defense as they head into Sunday's game with New Hampshire in Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators (2-0) set a school record for points in a season opener with a 116-74 victory over Gardner-Webb. They defeated North Florida 108-68 on Thursday, topping the century mark in consecutive games for the first time since 2003.

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Florida coach Mike White harped on the team's defense afterward because the Gators allowed North Florida to make 48.3 percent of its shots in the second half after limiting them to only seven made shots in 26 attempts before halftime.

"We have to guard at a much higher level, rebound at a much higher level, guard without fouling," White said. "There were some good things. The defensive intensity from the jump was better.

"We have to maintain that level of defensive energy and intensity and condition ourselves to be able to execute our offense and make shots."

New Hampshire (1-1) has shown it can be a team the Florida defense can be successful against. The Wildcats, who are traveling to Florida as part of the PK80-Phil Knight Invitational, are shooting only 43 percent and 26.4 percent from 3-point range.

They lost 78-60 at Texas on Tuesday making only 31.7 percent of their shots, including 27.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Longhorns utilized a zone defense to offset the Wildcats' perimeter scorers led by wing player Tanner Leissner, who leads New Hampshire with 18 points a game.

Leissner made only 3 of 13 shots, and missed all five of his 3-point attempts, against the Longhorns.

"We were in a good spot late in the first half. It was a six-point game, and we had gotten back into the game," New Hampshire coach Bill Herrion said. "The zone really bothered us. Once they went to the 2-3 zone we did not react to it well."

Florida is coming off a game in which it allowed North Florida to make only 25 percent of its 3-pointers.

Offensively, Florida is deep with good shooters. Six different players scored at least 12 points against North Florida. The Gators had 24 assists while turning it over only seven times.

"I like the overall aura in the locker room right now," White said. "Like where our guys are at, obviously only two games in. I thought we got a little bit better defensively tonight."

Senior point guard Chris Chiozza has 13 assists with only three turnovers through the first two games. Graduate transfer Egor Koulechov, a Russian who played previously at Rice, leads the Gators with 23 points per game. He has 10 assists with only two turnovers.

"There's not a better passer in college basketball than Chris Chiozza," White said. "I think sometimes that (assists) column will look gaudy this year. He had a really good game."

A significant area of concern for New Hampshire is points in the paint. Texas outscored the Wildcats 38-14 in that stat.

"Coach has been really helping us and getting us better," senior forward Iba Camara (12 points and 10 rebounds against Texas) told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "He really challenges us. I just have to step up and do what I can for my team."