Gainesville, FL – Erik Murphy was unstoppable for Florida, scoring a game-high 24 points to lead the No. 10 Gators past the 22nd-ranked Wisconsin Badgers, 74-56, on Wednesday.
Murphy shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the field and also pulled down eight rebounds, while Mike Rosario added 15 points for a Gators (2-0) team that shot an incredible 61.9 percent for the game.
"We worked on how we were going to cover. I don't hang my players out, but the things that we worked on, we did the opposite," said Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan on his team's defense. "It was younger guys who need to learn. It was a great experience for them because they will know why we do things the way we do them. This shows them they missed in that area and that they need to get better."
Kenny Boynton notched 10 points, six rebounds and three assists in the victory for Florida.
Wisconsin fell behind early and never recovered. Jared Berggren and Sam Dekker scored 11 apiece for the Badgers (1-1), who were coming off a season-opening blowout victory over Southeastern Louisiana.
Wisconsin didn't score a basket until five minutes into the game, allowing Florida to jump out to a 9-0 lead. From there, the Badgers were forced to play catch up the rest of the way.
"I felt that it would be important to not let them get into any kind of flow," said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "(We were) trying to be disruptive, trying to change pace, trying to change looks, trying to change coverages, sometimes switch sometimes not; just trying to keep them off balance a little bit."
Thanks to a 10-0 run, the Badgers pulled within 21-19 midway through the opening half on jumper by Ryan Evans, but they never came any closer.
Murphy connected on all seven of his shots in the first half, helping the Gators jump out to a 43-31 halftime lead.
The Badgers fell behind by 17 after a pair of Rosario free throws just over five minutes into the second half, but pulled back within 12 after Traevon Jackson buried a 3-pointer to make it 52-40.
But the Gators began to pull away after that, eventually doubling their advantage by taking a 71-47 lead with 2:41 remaining.
Wisconsin shot just 35.6 percent for the game ... The Gators outrebounded the Badgers 40-21 ... Both teams will be in action again on Sunday, as the Badgers will host Cornell, while the Gators will play at Middle Tennessee.