Kenny Boynton scored 19 points and Vernon Macklin had 14 to lead unbeaten Florida to a 73-58 win over Rutgers on Saturday night in the championship game of the Legends Classic.
The Gators (6-0) used a 15-4 run late in the second half to put the game away and cap a successful tournament. Led by a near-flawless effort from Macklin, the Gators looked sharp again one night after they upset No. 2 Michigan State.
Mike Rosario scored 14 points and Hamady Ndiaye had 12 for Rutgers (3-2).
Yes, it's early, but coach Billy Donovan's Gators are back in the conversation as a possible NCAA tournament team.
Florida won consecutive national titles in 2006 and '07 before settling for two straight appearances in the NIT the past two seasons.
There was no clipping of the nets as they've done before in April. The Gators were simply presented with a trophy at midcourt.
Erving Walker, who hit the winning 3-pointer against the Spartans, was named the tournament MVP. He made another three 3-pointers and scored 11 points with five assists.
The Gators made 7 of 19 3-point attempts _ long shots they needed because they weren't getting to the free-throw line. The Gators only made 2 of 5 free-throw attempts.
Rutgers, used to playing a bruising Big East schedule, hung with Florida for most of the first half and only trailed 34-29 at the break.
But Rutgers had no answer as Florida worked the ball inside to Macklin, who snuck behind the Scarlet Knights' zone to score easy baskets and grab eight rebounds. He went 7-for-9 from the floor and sparked the Gators in the second half with big dunks.
One of Macklin's rim-shakers gave Florida its first 10-point lead, and Rutgers called a timeout to regroup.
Whatever Rutgers drew up, it didn't work. Walker and Boynton each hit 3-pointers and the Gators were on their way to remaining perfect.
Rutgers got a dose of what the Spartans felt on Friday. Florida's upset over MSU was its 10th win over a top-five team under Donovan and matched the highest-ranked team the Gators had ever defeated in the regular season.