Florida Gators basketball (6-4) won its third-straight game by running roughshod over the Jacksonville Dolphins (2-9) on Sunday afternoon at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
UF only held a 10-point lead at the half but routed JU in the latter 20 minutes, using a 28-4 half-spanning scoring stretch to run the Dolphins out of the building as the Gators picked up an impressive 79-34 victory at home.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Sunday’s action with eight quick-hitters:
It was over when / significant stretch: The Gators opened the second half just as hot as they closed the first, erupting on a 22-4 run (28-4 spanning the half) with a pair of threes from junior guard Michael Frazier plus one each from redshirt juniors forward Dorian Finney-Smith and G Eli Carter to double-up the visiting Dolphins with a 56-28 lead. Florida never looked back, using a game-ending 15-0 run (including another Frazier trey) to extend its advantage to a game-high 45 points.
Prominent players: Finney-Smith was dominant on Sunday, posting a career-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting (5-of-7 from beyond the arc). He also added six boards and two dimes to his line. Nearly equalling his teammate’s effectiveness was Frazier, who went 8-for-14 from the field and 6-for-11 from long range to finish with 22 points and six rebounds. The duo combined for 59.4 percent of the team’s scoring and 84.6 percent of its makes from downtown.
First half focus: Florida’s first four baskets of the game were triples with the Gators going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc to open the contest. UF fell into a slump, however, netting just 2-of-12 baskets during an extended stretch, which allowed JU to pull within three of its hosts at 23-20 with less than six minutes until the break. The Gators pulled through over the final 5:12 of the half, outscoring the Dolphins 11-4 to retake a 10-point lead as the teams entered the locker rooms.
Perfect plays: With time winding down in the first half, Finney-Smith caught the ball in the paint and looked prepared to drive to the hoop, only to see redshirt senior center Jon Horford open on the block. Rather than go up for the shot, Finney-Smith executed a smooth bounce pass, which resulted in a strong two-handed dunk by Horford. Late in the second half, Frazier executed a steal followed by a coast-to-coast fastbreak dunk; on the next possession, he drained a three as part of a 9-0 UF run.
Standout stats: The Gators dominated in the paint (32-14) and on the glass (41-20) but were also incredibly efficient from beyond the arc, hitting 13-of-27 attempts as a team. Florida also had 18 assists on 30 made baskets, another impressive statistic considering how much emphasis head coach Billy Donovan has placed on sharing the ball and playing unselfishly.
What it means: UF took care of an overmatched JU team and earned a well-deserved short break as it does not play again until Saturday.
Next up: Florida will next take the court in the 2014 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on Dec. 20 against Wake Forest. It is expected that redshirt sophomore F Alex Murphy will be eligible to play his first game of the season after completing a full year on the bench as a transfer from Duke.
Everything else: The Gators took the lead 18 seconds into the contest and held it for the final 39:42 of the game … freshman Chris Chiozza started at point guard as sophomore Kasey Hill dealt with a stomach virus … Chiozza, Hill, sophomore F Chris Walker and freshman F Devin Robinson combined to go 3-for-10 from the field with seven points … Horford finished with a team-high eight boards and 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting … redshirt senior walk-on F Jacob Kurtz was an efficient 3-for-4, registering eight points … Carter and Chiozza each led the way with four assists