JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Florida did not make the first game at Jacksonville Memorial Arena a very exciting one.
Matt Walsh scored 19 points and Anthony Roberson added 12 as the second-ranked Gators rolled to a 59-39 rout of Central Florida.
The Jacksonville Memorial Arena opened November 21 with an Elton John concert, but the first basketball game featured national powerhouse Florida, which needed little time to distance itself from overwhelmed Central Florida.
"It was a great opportunity and a privilege for our basketball team to come here to Jacksonville and play," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "We were playing 90 miles or so from Gainesville, and to have people show up with love and enthusiasm for the Gators was special."
The Gators never trailed after the Golden Knights scored the opening baskets and pulled away with a 23-4 run bridging both halves. Bonell Colas scored all of his eight points and Roberson had seven during the decisive stretch.
Florida (4-0) had a 22-16 edge before Adrian Moss sank a jumper to spark the burst. Roberson scored the next five points and Colas had the final two baskets of the first half for the Gators, who built a 35-20 halftime cushion.
Florida finished the spurt with 12 consecutive points, including the first 10 of the second half, as Central Florida (2-2) went five minutes without scoring.
"(The Gators) are hard to attack, especially when they get into that zone," Central Florida coach Kirk Speraw said. "I was proud of our kids though. They tried to execute our game plan."
Christian Drejer, who had six points and eight rebounds, made a layup to give the Gators their largest lead, 45-20, with 15:55 remaining.
Walsh made 8-of-14 shots and Roberson was 4-of-5, but the rest of the team was just 13-of-33 from th field. Florida finished at 48 percent (25-of-52) after making 15-of-28 shots in the first half.
"I think we learned that we don't have to shoot a high percentage to win," Donovan said.
"The biggest thing right now is execution of the offense," Roberson added. "We should have put a lot more points on the board as a group."
Josh Bodden scored 14 points and was the only player in double figures for the Golden Knights, who shot just 26 percent (17-of-65), including 5-of-27 from 3-point range, and did not attempt a free throw.
"It's tough to play a 40-minute basketball game without getting to the free-throw line," Speraw said. "(The Gators) are so long, they just get up there and tip (the ball) away and are able to avoid any body contact."