The Yale men’s basketball team ran with No. 13 University of Florida for most of a sloppy first half, but the athleticism of the Gators came back to bite the Bulldogs in a 79–58 defeat on Sunday.
The two teams looked rusty following the tip-off, combining for 10 turnovers in the first five minutes of the game. Guard Armani Cotton ’15 and forward Justin Sears ’16 carried the Elis (5–11, 0–0 Ivy) out of the gate by scoring the team’s first 13 points. Yale cut the deficit to 21–20 on a pull-up jumper from the elbow by guard Michael Grace ’13 with 5:33 until halftime. But the Gators (10–2, 0–0 SEC) pulled to a 35–23 lead at the break as several 3-point attempts from Yale rimmed out.
Still within striking distance, Yale saw its chances take a nosedive as the second half began. After a missed three by Bulldog center Jeremiah Kreisberg ’14, Florida went on a 12–0 run en route to a 24-point lead.
Over the next two minutes, the ball did not again cross the half-court line as the Gator forced four Bulldog turnovers. Guard Austin Morgan ’13 finally broke onto the scoreboard with two free throws, but the Elis would never come closer than 17 points again.
Cotton had his second-straight strong game with 12 points and five rebounds, while guard Javier Duren ’15 scored a career-high 14 points to pace the Bulldogs.
For Florida, senior guard Kenny Boynton tied a career high himself, with 28 points on eight of 10 shooting from beyond the arc. He also became the all-time 3-point leader in University of Florida history that afternoon.
Yale stays at home to host Division III Oberlin College next Saturday at 2 p.m.