"The most important thing was that we started the season off with a win," Peck said. "I didn't want our team to have any false expectations after our two exhibition wins. We knew we had to come out and play hard to get a win tonight. The game started nip and tuck and I was getting concerned with our minutes because we have to play again tomorrow. But our freshmen came in and did a great job. Our true test will be if we can do this on back-to-back nights."
The Gators next play tournament host Seton Hall (0-0) on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the second round at Walsh Gymnasium. That game will be broadcast live on the radio in Gainesville on WRUF-AM850 and thru the internet at www.GatorZone.com.
Tiffany Hill scored a game-high 26 points for St. Francis, which committed 26 turnovers. Justine Paxhia was the only other Terrier in double-figures, netting 17.
The teams exchanged buckets twice to begin the second half before Florida ripped off a 12-0 run to take a commanding 61-36 lead with 13:25 remaining. The Gators also turned up its defense holding the Terriers to 33.3 percent shooting for the half, 40.7 percent for the game. UF out-rebounded SFC by 10 in the final 20 minutes, emerging with a 39-30 edge on the boards for the game.
"We really turned on our defensive pressure in the second half," Peck said. "From start to finish, I thought our shot selection was excellent tonight. We looked to make the extra pass and we finished inside."
UF shot a steady 50.8 percent from the floor during the game, including a 55.2 clip in the opening stanza.
The game was tied at 29 with just over five minutes remaining in the first half before the Gators closed the period on a 13-2 run, using a smothering full court press that harassed the Terriers to commit several turnovers. Six different Gators scored during the run that helped UF build a 44-31 halftime lead.