Former Rice standout Egor Koulechov scored 34 points, hitting six 3-pointers in his first game as a graduate transfer to Florida as the eighth-ranked Gators handled Gardner-Webb a 116-74 loss in their season opener Monday night.
Koulechov broke the school record for most points in a debut. Tom Baxley held the previous mark, scoring 32 points against Rick Barry and Miami in 1962. Koulechov had no issues against Gardner-Webb sinking all six of his free throws and added five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
The Gators finished with 15 3-pointers and its most points in a season opener. The Gators hit 10 treys in the first half, including five by Koulechov.
Senior Chris Chiozza came off the bench Monday night and looked far from rusty. He finished with five points, six rebounds and six assists in 23 minutes of work. Jalen Hudson chipped in 16 points, and freshman Mike Okauru added 13. Florida coasted from there and won its 27th consecutive opener.
Florida plays twice more at home over the next six days, beginning against North Florida on Thursday night.