“It was great to see Kenny Boynton shoot the ball like he did here,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said on his post game radio show. “Everybody has seen Kenny Boynton not shooting the ball well, but Scottie played there tonight and they shared the point.
“The other thing that helped him was to bring him back to his high school roots where the basket looks a little better. For someone that’s had a slump, it was great to see him break out the way he did.”
Boynton tied his career high with 28 points after going for 26 points against Yale in last year’s matchup. He went 9-for-12 from the field and 8-for-10 from behind the three-point line while adding two rebounds, two assists and one steal.
The senior also took Lee Humphrey’s record for three-pointers in a career at Florida. The previous record was 288.
“I heard he moves into first place all time,” Donovan said. “Kenny has had an unbelievable career. I’m proud of how he’s sticking to it and helping our team. Tonight was a night he exploded.”
His performance could’ve been even more impressive. When the Florida offense hit a stagnant point on one second-half possession, Donovan called a timeout. Just after he signaled for the timeout, Boynton pulled up for a long range three-pointer that went in and kept the momentum going.
But it didn’t count. Donovan’s timeout was awarded, and it took three points off the board.
“Don’t call timeout like I did when the ball is in his hands,” Donovan said with a laugh when asked what to do when a shooter is on a roll like Boynton. “He got it and I didn’t know if he would shoot it when I called timeout. It looked a lot worse than it was. He blew the whistle about five seconds after I called timeout and in the middle of his shot.”
The Gators played sloppy in the first half, turning the ball over ten times. They came out of halftime with momentum and used it in the full court press to create turnovers. Florida forced 16 turnovers while taking better care of the ball in the second half with just three turnovers.
“The difference in the game was the start of the second half,” Donovan said. “The press, the first four or five minutes, was able to create some turnovers and get some points. As the game wore on, we got really good looks.”
The disappointing part for Donovan was that senior forward Erik Murphy wasn’t able to play. He suffered bruised ribs in practice on Friday and wasn’t able to play on Sunday in a game that was set up to play close to his hometown. Multiple buses of Murphy’s friends and family made the trek to Yale to watch the game, but Murphy never got out of his warmups.
There was concern about the frontcourt staying out of foul trouble, but the Gators were able to do that.
“The first half, we got by okay,” Donovan said. “I was a little concerned because the first play of the game, Yeguete picked up a foul. We were able to be okay with him. It shortened our rotation in the frontcourt. Casey Prather stepped up and gave us good minutes and made good decisions. He drove it when he needed to and found people when he needed to.”
Donovan told the Gainesville Sun after the game that Murphy is doubtful for Wednesday’s SEC opener against Georgia.
The goal now is for the team to get rest before Wednesday.
“We’ve had a tough travel schedule,” Donovan said. “I worry that our team has been drained with the way we’ve had to travel. It’ll be important to come into the Georgia game with energy. We’ve been through a lot in recent weeks.”