Kenny Boynton Shoots Florida Out Of a Sluggish Start at YalePosted by Dan Lyons on January 7th, 2013
Dan Lyons is an RTC correspondent who also writes for Syracuse blog “Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician.” You can find him on Twitter @Dan_Lyons76. He filed this report after Sunday’s match-up between Florida and Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.
Sunday’s trip to New Haven to take on the Yale Bulldogs was supposed to be a homecoming game for Florida senior Erik Murphy, who grew up in nearby South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Unfortunately for Murphy’s New England-based friends and family, he was sidelined with bruised ribs after an injury in practice. Luckily for Gator fans, who flocked to Payne Whitney Gymnasium in what was deemed a sellout by Yale, fellow senior Kenny Boynton put on an incredible performance from deep, sinking 8-of-10 three pointers and finishing with 28 points, tying a career-high. Boynton’s 23-point second half also broke him out of a personal slump, clinching a 79-58 win for Florida against a scrappy-if-overmatched Yale team looking to win back its home court.
From the opening tip, Yale tried to run with Florida, which led to a sloppy and frenetic first half. The Bulldogs did a decent job breaking the Gator press early, often using center Jeremiah Kreisberg at the half-court line to advance the ball. However, Florida’s length disrupted Yale’s half-court sets, leading to nine first half turnovers for the Bulldogs. Yale was able to stick around for the first 15 minutes of the game, in large part due to success on the boards where they edged the Gators by one in the first half. Florida also struggled to score outside of the paint early on, and only led by one point with just over five minutes remaining in the half. Despite keeping the game close, Yale was never able to get its own offense going, shooting 9-of-25 in the first half, and eventually Florida’s star guards took over. The Gators closed the half on a 14-3 run, spurred by a late three-pointer by Boynton, and three successful free throws from freshman Michael Frazier II, who was fouled while shooting a three of his own.
Florida came out pressing to open the second half, leading to a disastrous and game-ending stretch for Yale. Mike Rosario opened the half with a field goal, and the Gators were able to force the Bulldogs into four subsequent turnovers leading to two three-pointers from Boynton and field goals for Will Yeguete and Scottie Wilbekin before Yale successfully crossed the half-court line. With a commanding 47-23 lead established early in the second half, the Gators were then able to coast to an easy 21-point victory.
Boynton’s eight three-pointers against Yale puts him at 289 for his career, passing Lee Humphrey for the school record at Florida. He finished 9-of-12 from the field, but Billy Donovan felt that there was much more to Boynton’s performance than just his shooting: “I think he did much more in the lane. He found people and made some penetration and his passes led to other passes that were three assists… Going by people on the dribble you have to give him space and he got some for himself and made things happen and he was able to shoot in rhythm.” Yeguete, who started for the injured Murphy, was probably the best player on the court in the first half. The junior forward finished with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed nine total rebounds. Rosario struggled with his shot from behind the arc but finished with 13 points, and Wilbekin dished out 10 assists. Patric Young had a quiet night with just eight points and three rebounds. Yale’s Justin Sears was very effective, scoring 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Javier Duren and Armani Cotton added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Florida opens up SEC play with a struggling Georgia squad on Wednesday night in Gainesville, and Yale hosts Oberlin on Saturday before beginning its Ivy League campaign at Brown the following weekend.