Florida Gators 80, Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 59 – FOXSports.com
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Canyon Barry was admittedly a little nervous for his Florida debut.
It showed at the free-throw line.
The youngest son of Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry missed three of his first four from the stripe, eliciting some choice words for himself as he headed to the bench. He eventually settled down and ended up with a solid first game with the Gators.
Barry, a graduate transfer from College of Charleston, had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Florida opened the season with an 80-59 victory against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday night.
“Was not happy with the free throws early,” said Barry, who shoots free throws underhand. “It happens. I think a little bit of nerves, first game as a Gator, and I kind of rushed them. But I’m not worried about it. I have all the confidence in the world in my free throws.”
The Gators are equally confident in their pressing defense, which paid dividends in the second half. Florida used a 15-0 run midway through the second half to erase a five-point deficit and take the lead for good. It was a solid start to coach Mike White’s second season, which is expected to include a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Devin Robinson led the Gators with 14 points. John Egbunu added 13 points and eight boards. Kasey Hill finished with 11 points, four assists and no turnovers. And Kevarrius Hayes chipped in nine points, five rebounds and five blocks.
Brandon Goodwin led Florida Gulf Coast with 14 points. The Eagles kept it close until hitting just two baskets during a 14-minute stretch in the second half. They made 8 of 20 shots from 3-point range, but committed 19 turnovers. It didn’t help that FGCU played without its leading