The Florida Gators dominated the first half of their season opener before cruising to a win over the Elon Phoenix on Tuesday. Despite leading by as many as twenty eight points, the Gators held on for the 74-61 win.
Florida forward Colin Castleton found a groove midway through the first half as he sank 17 points in the first twnty minutes. He finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and four assists.
Penn State transfer Myreon Jones caught fire in the second half, flaming the Phoenix for 15 of his 18 in the final frame behind four three-pointers.
After a back and fourth first eight minutes that saw Elon get to within one with 13:21 to play, the Gators were able to dominate play until nearly the midpoint of the second half when they unloaded the bench.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the season opening victory is that this team’s defense looked solid. The Gators seemed to be in every passing lane, getting hands on the ball with UMKC transfer Brandon McKissock showcasing terrific on ball defense.
Florida is 1-0 on the season and will face a major test in their next game. Rival Florida State comes to Gainesville on Sunday as the nation’s No. 20 team. Mike White’s teams are 0-6 against the Seminoles.