Revenge is a dish best served from downtown.
The No. 9/10 Florida Gators (4-1) utilized 11 clutch three-pointers to upend the visiting Jacksonville Dolphins (2-3) Friday evening, avenging an overtime upset one year ago with a blowout 107-62 victory at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Gators junior guard Kenny Boynton led the way for his squad with a game-high 22 points on 50 percent shooting (4-for-7 from downtown), and senior point guard Erving Walker chimed in with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting while hitting 7-of-8 free throws and adding a game-high six assists.
Undeterred by the Gators’ offensive breakout, the Dolphins countered with an 8-0 run to reduce their deficit to 10 points. However, UF kept the pressure on and used an 11-0 run including two baskets by sophomore center Patric Young to go up to go up 22 points.
Florida increased that advantage to 24 points but ended the first half with a 20-point lead after JU’s Russell Powell hit an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer.
The teams traded deuces to open the second half, but the Gators scored 11-straight points and held a 31-point lead with 17 minutes to play. Young scored five-straight points during the run, which was capped off with a trey from sophomore PG Scottie Wilbekin.
Florida maintained its big lead for the remainder of the contest and wound up winning by 45 points, their largest margin of the evening.
All 10 Gators scored and five reached double figures. Joining Boynton and Walker were Young (14), freshman G Brad Beal (15) and redshirt junior G Mike Rosario (12).
Young, Beal and sophomore forward Will Yeguete each registered nine rebounds with Yeguete, who started in place of injured junior F Erik Murphy (right knee), also scored a career-high eight points.
Florida notched double-digit threes for the fifth straight game, and Boynton improved to 19-for-35 (54.2 percent) from downtown this season.
The Gators outrebounded the Dolphins 42-30, dished 11 more dimes (19-8) and hit 63 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe (22-for-35). UF held JU to 38 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers on the evening.
Florida only committed seven turnovers Friday with Beal coughing it up five times. Young added three blocks on the evening and three Gators registered two steals.
UF will travel to Orlando, FL on Monday to take on Stetson in the second annual Florida Citrus Sports Shootout as head coach Billy Donovan goes for his 400th career victory. The game will tip at 7 p.m. and air live on Sun Sports.
Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press