Horford paces Gators past Dolphins
Gainesville, FL (Sports Network) – Al Horford had 18 points, nine rebounds and
two blocks as the top-ranked Florida Gators trounced the Jacksonville
Dolphins, 90-61, at the O’Connell Center.
Joakim Noah added 16 points and eight boards while Walter Hodge netted 11 for
the Gators (3-0), who have won 14 straight games dating back to last season.
The streak is tied for second-longest in school history (November 16, 2001-
January 16, 2002, December 6, 2002-February 1, 2003).
Corey Claitt poured in 16 points and Tyrone Curnell and Jesse Kimbrough each
scored 10 for the Dolphins (1-2), who have lost six straight meetings.
Philip Okonma’s dunk brought Jacksonville within 13-8, but the Gators went on
a 20-1 run, which began with Horford’s jumper. Horford’s three-point play made
it 24-9 and Lee Humphrey capped the surge with a trey for a 33-9 margin.
The Gators closed the half with a 14-6 burst, including five points apiece
from Taurean Green and Chris Richard, for a 56-20 advantage after 20 minutes
Florida missed just six shots in the first half (23-of-29 from the floor),
while the Dolphins connected on 24 percent of their shots.
Jacksonville began the second stanza with a 12-3 rally, highlighted by
Kimbrough’s trey followed by Marcus Allen’s three-point play, to pull within
Jonathan Mitchell’s jumper extended the Florida lead to 73-39, but the
Dolphins scored the next nine points to narrow the gap to 73-48 with just over
five minutes remaining.
However, the Gators scored 12 of the next 19 points, including five from
Hodge, for an 85-55 drubbing.
The Dolphins outscored Florida 41-34 in the final 20 minutes. The Gators shot
59 percent from the floor, compared to Jacksonville, which shot 39 percent
from the field for the game.
Florida leads the all-time series 25-4…The Gators play Tennessee-Chattanooga
on Saturday in the Las Vegas Invitational while the Dolphins welcome Florida
Tech on Wednesday…Florida coach Billy Donovan needs seven more wins to
become the winningest coach in Gators history, surpassing Norm Sloan (235
victories)…Florida moved to 3-0 for the fifth straight season and for the
eighth time in the 11 campaigns under Donovan…The win in the
series for Jacksonville came on December 21, 1994, when it beat the sixth-
ranked Gators, 68-67.