Gainesville, FL – Kenny Boynton led the way with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, as the No.10 Florida Gators demolished Alabama State, 84-35, in what turned out to be the Gators' first game of the season.
The Gators' scheduled season opener that was played on the USS Bataan at Naval Station Mayport on Friday against Georgetown was called at halftime due to court conditions, but they came out ready to play on Sunday.
Patric Young posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, Erik Murphy scored 15 points and Mike Rosario added 14 points for the Gators (1-0), who lost to Louisville in the Elite 8 during last season's NCAA Tournament.
Bobby Brown and Joshua Freelove combined for 26 of Hornets' 35 points, as Brown put in 14 while Freelove scored 12 for Alabama State (0-2).
"I think it kind of speaks for itself, but we brought a bunch of freshmen in here to play the No. 10 team in the country," said Alabama State head coach Lewis Jackson. "We knew it was going to be a battle for us in terms of trying to do the things we wanted to do since they do a very good job taking you out of your offense. (Florida) did an outstanding job of that tonight."
The Gators jumped out to 37-5 lead following a 22-0 run in the first half. The Hornets went scoreless for almost nine minutes and didn't get back on the board until Jamel Waters hit a pair of free throws with 5:51 remaining in the period.
The Gators led 47-9 at halftime, setting the record for fewest points allowed in a half in the shot clock era.
"We've tried to really make an emphasis on being better defensively," said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "Our guys are committed to at least working at it and trying to get better at it. We were pretty good defensively in the first half. Obviously, they missed a lot of shots, but with the shots we forced them to take, I was impressed from the bench."
They continued to pile it on, but only outscored Alabama State by 11 points in the second half. A pair of free throws by DeVon Walker gave Florida its biggest lead of the game at 75-18.
Florida shot 47.5 percent from the field compared to 21.4 percent for Alabama State ... The Gators scored 29 points off 19 Hornets' turnovers and scored 36 points in the paint ... Florida has won 22 consecutive home openers.