Early run sinks Dolphins upset bid at Florida, 88-72

Dec. 3, 2007

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida used an early barrage of 3-pointers to create separation and deny Jacksonville's dream of an upset as the Gators took home a 88-72 win on Monday at the O'Connell Center.

Nick Calathes scored 24 points, hitting four 3-pointers, to lead the three Gators in double figures, while dishing out a game-high nine assists For the game, Florida hit nine shots from 3-point land, with seven coming in the first half.

The Gators (7-1) got used a 15-0 run after JU had taken the lead near the midpoint of the first half. Calathes hit two of his 3-pointers during the run that gave Florida a 27-14 lead.

"Tonight we played better as a team," said JU head coach Cliff Warren. "We got a lot of guys to step up off the bench to hit shots for us, which we have to do for us to be successful. We need everyone on the team to contribute for us to be successful."

JU (3-4) got season-best efforts from Evan Jefferson and Andre McMillan as five Dolphins scored in double figures. Marcus Allen led the team with 16 points along with five rebounds.

Jefferson scored 13 points, hitting two 3-pointers while McMillan had 10 with two trifectas as well. It is the first time either player has scored in double figures this season.

Ben Smith scored 15 points and dished out seven assists and tied Allen with five rebounds, extending his streak to nine straight games in double figures scoring.

Lehmon Colbert had 13 points, with nine of those coming in the second half, as he hit 5-of-10 from the floor.

Florida took a 47-33 lead into the locker room at halftime courtesy of 7-of-13 shooting from 3-point land to go along with the big run. JU held a 14-12 lead after Jefferson's first 3-pointer with 13:20 left in the first half. The Gators scored the next 15 points in less than two minutes to take a lead that they would not relinquish.

The Dolphins battled throughout the second half, cutting the deficit to 12 but couldn't get it back into single digits over the final 20 minutes.

"You've got to Jacksonville credit," said Florida head coach Billy Donovan. "We knew that this was going to be a tough game. Coach Warren and his staff have done a great job with that program after winning one game two years ago."

Florida also got 16 points and seven rebounds from Marreese Speights and 17 points from Chandler Parsons.

Jacksonville continues its road trip on Friday as they face American in Washington, D.C. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.