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Florida 79, Jacksonville 34: Gators storm past Dolphins, finish acing finals week

It took a while for Florida to wake up on Sunday. But when they did? The Gators rolled.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

At halftime on Sunday afternoon in the O'Dome, Florida had just clicked off a 6-0 run to go up 10 points on lowly Jacksonville, with a banked Dorian Finney-Smith jumper providing the final two points at the buzzer.

Then Florida extended that run to a 23-2 run over the first 6:29 of the second half. And minimized the impact of Jacksonville's first five points of the second stanza by making them part of an 11-5 Gators run. And finished the game on a 15-0 run.

When all was said and done, the Gators had a 45-10 advantage in the second half, and a 79-34 victory. And they did this with little more than three players contributing on offense: Finney-Smith tied a career high with 25 points (on 15 shots, thanks to five made threes), Michael Frazier II fired in six threes to fuel a 22-point outing, and Jon Horford added 12 points on seven shots. Every other Gators player, combined? 20 points.

Chris Walker took one shot and scored two points. Eli Carter had five points on five shots. Devin Robinson had three on three. And Chris Chiozza, starting in place of a flu-limited Kasey Hill, was silent, not quiet, putting a goose egg in the points column.

Didn't matter.

Florida held the Dolphins to 31.1 percent shooting, and a truly miserable 24.2 percent on their two-pointers; in the second half, Jacksonville made four of 25 shots, a horrific 16 percent clip. And with a massive edge on the boards (Florida had 16 offensive boards on just 25 misses), 18 assists on 30 made shots, and shooting percentages better than 50 percent from the field and better than 40 percent from three, the Gators followed the recipe for the blowout that transpired.

It gets harder from here, with Florida playing Wake Forest and Florida State — both struggling, certainly, but both ACC teams — on the road before a January showdown with UConn to finish its non-conference schedule.

But the Gators certainly aced their finals week tests on the court: Yale, Texas Southern, and Jacksonville were dispatched by an average of 36 points per game.