Florida opens with 80-59 win against Florida Gulf Coast
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Devin Robinson scored 14 points, John Egbunu added 13 and Florida opened the season with an 80-59 victory against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday night.
The pressing Gators used a 15-0 run midway through the second half to erase a five-point deficit and take the lead for good. It was a good start to coach Mike White's second season, which is expected to include a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Canyon Barry, a graduate transfer from College of Charleston and the youngest son of Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, chipped in 13 points and six rebounds in his Florida debut.
Brandon Goodwin led Florida Gulf Coast with 14 points. The Eagles kept it close until hitting just two baskets during a 14-minute stretch in the second half. They made 8 of 20 shots from 3-point range, but committed 19 turnovers. It didn't help that FGCU played without its leading returning scorer, forward Marc-Eddy Norelia. The fifth-year senior missed the game with a broken left (shooting) hand.
Florida dominated in the paint, outscoring the Eagles 46-26 inside. The 6-foot-11 Egbunu was a big reason for the advantage, hitting 6 of 11 shots and adding eight rebounds. Several NBA scouts were on hand to watch him play.
Maybe the best news for the Gators was their free-throw shooting. After ranking 323rd (out of 346 teams) in the NCAA from the stripe last season, they sank 20 of 26 in the opener.