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Florida 89, Jacksonville 65: Gators down Dolphins with strong tail end

And a former Florida great had plenty to say about it.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Through 20 minutes, Florida's offense appeared to have more than enough gas in the tank to carry the Gators down the road to another non-conference win against Jacksonville, even if uncharacteristically lethargic defense was allowing the Dolphins to stay close.

Then Florida dropped the clutch — and half a century — on the Dolphins in the second half, pulling away for an 89-65 win.

Four Florida starters scored in double figures, with KeVaughn Allen's career-high 15 points leading the way for the Gators. And Kevarrius Hayes scored a career-high nine points off the bench to add to Florida's attack.

The continued stellar play of Florida's point guards, though, is maybe the most promising development of the last two weeks. Chris Chiozza, the lone member of Florida's starting five to not net 10 or more points, had seven points, seven assists, and five rebounds with no turnovers, and Kasey Hill, who appears very comfortable as a sixth man off the bench, had nine points, six assists (and just two turnovers), and five boards, also skying for a thunderous alley-oop in transition in the second half.

If the Chiozza-Hill partnership can produce numbers like that on a consistent basis, Florida will benefit significantly. And if Florida can shoot as it did in its 50-point second half, when it sank four threes, that will help, too.

Apart from Florida's sterling second half, though, the best part of the game was unquestionably the extended stretch of time former Florida big man Patric Young spent on commentary in the second half. Young, who holds a telecom degree from Florida, seemed as natural on the call as he always did with a mic during his playing career.

After speaking of the Florida program in reverent tones and razzing former foes like Kentucky and Florida State with the proper amount of shade, Young followed up the third-best moment of the night — one-handed walk-on Zach Hodskins's first career basket as a Gator — by asking if color commentator Bill Koss had dropped "the commentator's curse" on Hodskins by mentioning his previous bucketlessness.

Having Young call a Gators win was a great early Christmas present — and, perhaps, a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future.