Gators start slow, but destroy the Jacksonville Dolphins 79-34

After disappointing losses, the Gators have now won three straight. Granted, the competition isn’t quite as strong (Yale, Texas Southern and now Jacksonville), but hey, wins are wins.

Dorian Finney-Smith set career marks with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including five 3-pointers and the Gators destroyed the JU Dolphins 79-34.

Finney-Smith also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and Michael Frazier II added 22 points for Florida, which won its third straight game after a shaky start. Jon Horford had 12 points and eight rebounds and Jacob Kurtz contributed eight points and three rebounds off the bench for the Gators, who beat Jacksonville on the glass 41-20.

On the other wise, the Dolphins’ Kori Babineaux’s 10 points led the offense for JU, who have lost five straight games and are 0-7 away from home. J.R. Holder provided eight points off the bench for Jacksonville, which shot 31.1 percent from the field and made only six trips to the free throw line, converting two attempts. The Dolphins kept things close for much of the first half, trailing 18-17 after a Babineaux jumper with 9:21 to go until halftime.

But that was where the fun ended for Jacksonville. The Gators used a 16-7 run to pull away, capped by a jumper from Finney-Smith at the buzzer and went into halftime 34-24. After the break, the Gators were even more dominant, starting the second half on a 22-4 surge that included 3-pointers from Finney-Smith and guard Eli Carter and a pair from Frazier. Jacksonville stopped the run with a 3-pointer from Josh Adeyeye with 11:35 remaining but was unable to gain any momentum as Finney-Smith struck from 3-point range again on the next two possessions, and Florida cruised the rest of the way. Gators guard Kasey Hill managed only three assists after averaging 8.3 in his previous three games.

With the win, the Gators improve to 6-4. They next face Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl Classic on Saturday in Sunrise, Fl.