Late run propels #13 Florida past JU, 85-67
Glenn Powell
Glenn Powell
Having faced the toughest schedule in the country in the opening weeks of the season, the JU men’s basketball team stood tall in its biggest test of the season as 13th ranked Florida used a 3-point barrage to take an 85-67 win at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Gators (8-0) hit 12 3-pointers in the game, with Erving Walker hitting four en route to a game-high 18 points, leading four Gators in double figures.

Jacksonville (0-5) got a season-high 16 points from Ayron Hardy as three Dolphins scored in double figures in front of the crowd of 7,170.

The difference in the game was the final seven minutes of each half. The Gators ended the first half on 10-3 run to take a nine-point halftime lead and a 22-9 run in the second half to seal the game.

“We had a lot of good opportunities tonight that we didn’t take advantage of,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “We didn’t do a good job of communicating on the defensive end and gave them a lot of open looks. You can’t do that against a team like Florida, who we knew going into the game likes to shoot threes.”

Dan Werner and Kenny Boynton each had three treys, with Boynton finishing with 15 points and Werner with 13. Vernon Macklin added 16 points in the post while Chandler Parsons was perfect on his two 3-point attempts to finish with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Trailing 41-32 at the half, the Dolphins opened the second half with a sense of urgency and cut the deficit to four with Ben Smith converted a steal into a layup with 12:55 left in the game.

Clinging to a 60-56 lead, the Gators went on a 11-4 run over the next three minutes to push the lead back to double digits – with Macklin hitting a pair of free throws to cap the run.

Down by double digits again, the Dolphins cut the lead to eight with 5:27 left in the game, but were unable to sustain a run to get back into the game. The Gators went on a 14-5 run over the last 8:04 to clinch the win.

JU got 14 points from Travis Cohn and 11 points from Ben Smith, who picked up four steals in the game. Glenn Powell had six rebounds and eight points, the best night of the freshman’s career thus far.

The Dolphins got off to a terrific start, taking a 10-5 lead in the first two minutes with Hardy connecting on two 3-pointers.

The Gators scored the next 11 points to take a 16-10 lead before watching JU retake the lead, 23-22, on a Tevin Galvin layup.

With the game tied at 27, Florida outscored the Dolphins 14-5 over the final minutes to take a 41-32 lead into the intermission.

The Dolphins are off for 12 days to focus on finals and will return to the hardwood on Dec. 16 as they hit the road again, this time to face Bethune-Cookman.