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Florida 86, Vermont 62: Gators' shooting in second half keys rout of Catamounts

The Gators controlled the game throughout, but didn't dominate Vermont until their shots started falling.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Four Florida players scored in double figures, and 10 Gators scored in total, leading Florida to an 86-62 win over Vermont in the O'Connell Center on Wednesday.

The Gators wore down the Catamounts and heated up from the floor after halftime, when they led by just five points. Dorian Finney-Smith led all scorers with 20 points — the most by a Gator this season — and added six rebounds and six assists. He, Devin Robinson (15 points, eight rebounds), and Kasey Hill (14 points, four assists, two steals) combined for all of the scoring on a 14-3 run to open the second half, and he also made a three after a timeout to answer a Vermont three cutting the Gators' lead to six midway through the second half.

The Catamounts wouldn't trail by fewer than seven points at any moment after that, with Florida going on a 20-7 run to push its lead to 18 points just before the eight-minute mark and closing the game on an 8-2 run that got the lead over 20 points for good.

And three-point shooting had a lot to do with that. The Gators made just two threes in the first half, both from Finney-Smith, but sank six in the second half, with Finney-Smith, Hill, Brandone Francis-Ramirez, and Robinson making four of them in a span of five field goals during that 20-7 run.

If the Gators can consistently shoot well from deep, they will be very hard to beat. Their defense is very good, and verges on excellent at times, and there's enough interior scoring from Finney-Smith and John Egbunu (13 points, seven rebounds) to get through times of meager returns from distance investments. The missing component is three-point accuracy.

Should these Gators find their form, watch out.