Junior forward Keith Stone and freshman guard Noah Locke led five scorers in double figures with 12 points apiece, lifting Florida to a 77-43 win over visiting Butler on Saturday afternoon.
Florida (8-4) won its third straight and avenged a 61-54 loss to Butler earlier this season on Nov. 23 at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas.
Senior guards KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson each had 11 points for the Gators, while freshman forward Keyontae Johnson capped off a 10-point game for the Gators with a thunderous dunk in transition. Florida shot 53.6 percent from the floor and 47.6 percent (10-21) from 3-point range.
From the start, the Gators were locked in. Florida made nine of its first 12 shots, while Butler missed its first 11 from the floor, allowing the Gators to jump to a 21-0 lead. During the early stretch, Florida blocked four shots and forced four turnovers. Butler’s first points of the game didn’t come until a 3-pointer by forward Jordan Tucker with 11:04 remaining in the first half.
UF’s 21-0 run to start the game was its best stretch since scoring 21 straight points against Virginia in the Round of 32 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
The Gators extended their lead to as many as 27 points in the first half and took a 43-18 lead into halftime. Locke scored 11 first-half points, as UF shot 64.3 percent from the field in the first half while holding Butler to 28.6 percent shooting from the floor.
Earlier this week, Florida announced redshirt freshman forward Chase Johnson was transferring. Johnson appeared in just six career games for the Gators over two seasons due to multiple concussions. Johnson scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in limited playing time during the six games.
Junior guard Kamar Baldwin led Butler (9-4) with nine points. The Bulldogs dropped to 0-2 in road games this season, having lost previously 64-52 at Saint Louis on Dec. 1.
—Field Level Media