GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Erving Walker scored 19 points, one of five starters in double figures, and No. 11 Florida overwhelmed Mississippi Valley State 82-54 on Monday night.
Kenny Boynton (16), Bradley Beal (13), Patric Young (12) and Erik Murphy (11) also scored in double digits for the Gators (9-2), who extended their home winning streak to 11.
Florida made its first eight shots, opened up a 20-point lead midway through the first half and did anything it wanted against the overmatched Delta Devils (1-9).
Cor-J Cox led Mississippi Valley State with 16 points and Terrence Joyner added 14.
With Young and Murphy inside, and Walker, Boynton and Beal outside, the Gators dominated every aspect of the game. Young and Murphy added eight rebounds apiece.
Boynton, Beal and Walker all had three 3-pointers and the Gators finished 10 of 21 from behind the arc.
The game provided a bit of a break for Florida, which was coming off a big win over Texas A&M two nights earlier and is getting ready for in-state rival Florida State in three days.
Florida's only losses this season came against the top two teams in the country, at No. 1 Syracuse and at No. 2 Ohio State. Coach Billy Donovan has assembled probably the toughest non-conference schedule in his 16 seasons in Gainesville, with Arizona, Rutgers and UAB also on the slate.
MVSU was one of the exceptions.
The Delta Devils, who had nine days off between lopsided losses, missed 11 of their first 15 shots, including all 10 from 3-point range. Joyner gave them some momentum with a layup, a jumper and a 3 — points that trimmed Florida's lead to 19 — but the Gators pulled away in the closing minutes of the first half.
The Gators pushed the lead to 37 late in the game, before the backups played the final minutes. Florida walk-on Jacob Kurtz made his season debut and didn't even have his name on the back of his jersey. He made two free throws with 2:06 remaining, sending Florida's bench and the students who stuck around during winter break into a tizzy.
Florida played without guard Mike Rosario and forward Cody Larson. Rosario missed the game because of a strained back, and Larson stayed home with strep throat.
They were hardly needed.
MVSU ended a tough non-conference schedule — one of the most difficult in the country — and will get a two-week break before beginning play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
MVSU played 10 games away from home, including eight against teams from power conferences. The Delta Devils lost by double digits to Notre Dame, DePaul, North Carolina, Arkansas, Northwestern and Mississippi.