LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — KeVaughn Allen and Canyon Barry each scored 16 points to help Florida hold off St. Bonaventure 73-66 on Thursday night.
Barry, the youngest son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry and Lynn Norenberg Barry, gave Florida (3-0) a 60-45 lead with three straight 3-pointers midway through the second half. He made three free throws in the final minute after St. Bonaventure (1-1) had erased the 15-point lead.
Barry’s two free throws with 58.1 seconds left put Florida ahead for good.
Matt Mobley scored a game-high 28 points for St. Bonaventure and Jaylen Adams added 20.
Mobley’s 3-point play, which tied it 66-66 with 1:42 left, proved to be St. Bonaventure’s final points.
In the first half, Florida pulled out to a 12-point lead midway through before Adams led a 22-11 Bonnie surge over the next 7 minutes. He drove it for three layups and beat the shot clock with a desperation 3-pointer.
St. Bonaventure cut Florida’s lead to 31-30 on Adams’ two free throws with 4:24 left in the half, but the Bonnies went scoreless for almost four minutes. Allen drove the baseline for a layup and found Justin Leon open in the corner for a 3-pointer and a 38-32 Gator halftime lead.
Florida: Allen, who has been declared a candidate for the John Wooden Award, and Mobley figure to have some big games with their ability to get inside against bigger and slower defenders. Florida enjoyed a frontcourt advantage of three inches per man.
The Gators’ big frontcourt, having survived its first two tests, is getting a chance to gain experience before SEC play begins at Arkansas on Dec. 29.
St. Bonaventure: Starting Monday against Arkansas-Little Rock, the Bonnies will play three games in three days in the Lone Star Showcase in Austin Texas.
Florida: The Gators’ next four games will be next week on neutral courts, beginning with Monday’s game against Belmont in Tampa. Because of a renovation at the Stephen F. O’Connell Center, they will not play a game in Gainesville until Dec. 21.
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