Florida overcomes slow start to beat Navy in Mike White's first game
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Florida won its first game under coach Mike White, using a strong defensive effort and a double-double by reserve Devin Robinson to beat Navy 59-41 Friday night.
In their debut under White, the Gators (1-0) overcame an early seven-point deficit to take a 29-19 halftime lead and cruised to the finish.
Robinson, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds, was the only player in the game to score in double figures. Dorian Finney-Smith contributed 12 rebounds, and Kasey Hill had eight points and five assists.
The Gators finished with a 47-33 advantage on the boards against the smaller Midshipmen.
The contest rounded out the Veterans Classic, a doubleheader in which top-ranked North Carolina beat Temple in the first game.
White was hired after a successful stint at Louisiana Tech. He replaced Billy Donovan, who left for the NBA after a 19-year run in which he won two NCAA titles.
White, who arrived at Florida with a 101-40 career record, inherited a young team with only one senior starter and five freshmen overall.
Scoring might be a problem for these Gators, who managed only one basket in the opening seven minutes while falling behind 9-2.
A 7-0 run tied it, and after a dunk by Robinson made it 13-11, the Gators never relinquished the lead.
The Midshipmen closed to 42-29 with 9:16 remaining, but the Gators used an 11-4 spurt to open a 20-point lead.
DeVon Walker, who missed last season with a torn right ACL, scored two points for Florida in 24 minutes.
Jace Hogan led Navy with eight points.
Florida: Chris Chiozza made Florida's only 3-pointer in the first half. The Gators finished 3 for 19 beyond the arc.
Navy: The Midshipmen fell to 0-2 in the Veterans Classic. They lost last year to Michigan State 64-59.
Florida: The Seminoles host North Carolina A&T on Monday night.
Navy: The Midshipmen welcome the College Of Charleston on Monday night.