Florida seems to have moved on from its loss earlier in the week, and after putting up its most points in nearly three years, is likely feeling good about its level of play.
Coach Billy Donovan’s club appears likely to post a second consecutive easy win when it hosts Morehead State on Sunday afternoon.
After losing to No. 4 Ohio State on Tuesday, the ninth-ranked Gators (2-1) bounced back in a big way as eight players scored in double figures during Thursday night’s 105-55 rout of North Carolina A & T.
“You always worry about how the emotions will carry over,” Donovan, whose club reached 100 points for the first time since Nov. 20, 2007, told the Gators’ official website. “You always worry about, ‘Does that game on Tuesday bleed over into today?’ I was really encouraged with the way our guys responded and the attitude they came out with.”
Kenny Boynton and Chandler Parsons led the way with 16 points apiece while Will Yeguete grabbed a team-high 15 rebounds.
“It was just important for us to bounce back after the loss we suffered to Ohio State,” Parsons said. “It was a good opportunity for us to come and play a team like them, really disruptive, pressing us, flying everywhere. Our discipline was a lot better. Our defense was more solid. On the other end, we had a lot less turnovers.”
The Gators turned the ball over a season-low 11 times after committing 18 turnovers Tuesday. They are 236-40 under Donovan when forcing more turnovers than their opponent.
Yeguete’s rebounding total was the most by a Florida freshman since Al Horford recorded 18 on Feb. 5, 2005.
“I was just trying to bring energy. Defensively, that’s my role,” he said. “Our goal is not to let the team down. We want to prove ourselves when we get in the game. I think we played well as a team.”
Senior Alex Tyus, who suffered a concussion against the Buckeyes, was held out of action Thursday but should return to the starting lineup versus the Eagles.
Morehead State (2-1) opened with consecutive wins for the first time since 2001-02, but fell to North Carolina-Wilmington 60-58 in the final seconds Thursday night.
Kenneth Faried scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, will likely need another strong all-around effort if the Eagles hope to stay close to Florida.
The senior center, who received the Ohio Valley Conference’s first player of the week honor this season, is averaging 17.0 points and 11.3 rebounds - both team highs.
The Eagles have been outscored by an average of 39.5 points in six losses to ranked opponents since the start of 2004-05.
The Gators defeated Morehead State 117-70 in their last meeting Dec. 22, 1998.
Donovan’s Florida teams are 5-0 versus opponents from the OVC.