No. 13/15 Florida Gators basketball (5-1) won its fourth-straight game by ripping through the Jacksonville Dolphins (2-4) on Monday evening at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. Florida topped Jacksonville 86-60 for its most dominant victory – and first road win – of the season in a contest highlighted by the return of senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin following a six-game suspension.
OnlyGators.com breaks down the Gators’ win with The Fastbreak.
It was over when: The Gators extended their lead to 31 points with 13:44 to left in the game as senior forward Casey Prather completed an old-fashioned four-point play. Charging towards the hoop, Prather laid the ball in but drew a foul and went to the line. He missed the ensuing free throw but grabbed the rebound on the baseline and slammed it home to put UF up 66-35.
Prominent player: Prather continued to dominate just like he has all season, finishing 11-for-13 from the field for a game-high 27 points with five rebounds and three assists. He once again displayed great athleticism attacking the hoop and provided a ton of energy for his team on both ends of the court.
Significant stretch: Florida opened up the game by outscoring Jacksonville 19-7, using three triples from sophomore guard Michael Frazier II to take a double-digit lead just 3:45 into the game. UF never led by fewer than 11 points from that point forward. Frazier finished 5-for-6 from downtown, scoring 17 points on the evening.
Perfect play: With 9:47 remaining in the first half, Gators redshirt junior F Jacob Kurtz closed out on a three-pointer shot by Dolphins G Sam Hunt, rejecting it and powering the ball into the crowd. Two possessions earlier, Kurtz laid the ball in off a nice pass from junior guard Eli Carter, giving the emerging walk-on a couple nice plays in a row.
Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the…break.
Standout stat: Florida posted a 4.33 assist-to-turnover ratio in the first half, dishing 13 dimes and coughing up the ball just three times in the first 20 minutes. The Gators were not as efficient in the second half and finished with a combined ratio of just 2.11, just a midge above its prior season-best of 1.78.
Memorable moment: In his last game in front of his hometown crowd, senior center Patric Young got himself in foul trouble early but still made a highlight play midway through the second half. With 10:57 left to play, Young spun into the lane and finished with a two-handed dunk that got his friends and family in the crowd on their feet. He scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting with three boards, two steals and a block.
Important injury: Sophomore G/F DeVon Walker, who has started every game of the season for Florida including Monday night’s contest, left early in the first half after appearing to roll his ankle. It was determined that the injury was actually to Walker’s foot, and head coach Billy Donovan is expected to address it after the game.
What it means: The victory over JU was assumed going into the game, but UF played exceedingly well in Wilbekin’s first game back with the team. He scored 12 points and led the Gators with a game-highs of seven assists and three steals while hitting both of his attempts from beyond the arc and grabbing five rebounds. Redshirt sophomore F Dorian Finney-Smith also registered the first double-double of his UF career with 14 points and a game-high 11 boards.
Next up: Florida will host Florida State on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will air live nationally on ESPN2. Not only do the Gators want to beat the Seminoles for their own sake, a victory would also help the UF athletic program avoid a potential sweep to FSU over a two-day span in Gainesville, FL.