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No. 15 Florida handles Jacksonville 86-60

AP - Sports
No. 15 Florida handles Jacksonville 86-60
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Casey Prather scored 27 points, Michael Frazier II added 17 and No. 15 Florida handled Jacksonville 86-60 Monday night.

The Gators (5-1) won their fourth consecutive game following a loss at 10th-ranked Wisconsin two weeks ago. The latest victory was a final tuneup before the team's toughest stretch of the season - games against Florida State, Connecticut, Kansas and Memphis.

It should help that point guard Scottie Wilbekin has returned to the rotation. Coach Billy Donovan even started the senior, who was suspended the first five games of the season and an exhibition for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Wilbekin finished with 12 points, seven assists, five rebounds and just two turnovers. Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the visitors. Patric Young chipped in 13 points.

Jarvis Haywood led the Dolphins (2-4) with 16 points. Vince Martin added 11 points and 10 boards.

Wilbekin was instrumental in getting Florida's offense in rhythm early. The Gators led 16-5 after Frazier's second 3-pointer and made it 28-10 on Jacob Kurtz's layup. Wilbekin's driving layup with 6:05 remaining in the half was his first bucket of the season. His runner in the lane just before the buzzer put Florida ahead 48-29 at the break.

The Gators started the second half much like they did the first, using a 10-4 spurt to turn a double-digit lead into a lopsided affair.

Wilbekin made his first two buckets of the second half, hitting a runner and a 3-pointer.

Florida coasted from there. The Gators shot 59.6 percent from the floor and were 8-of-13 from 3-point range.

They missed 12 free throws and gave up 16 offensive rebounds. But made up for those miscues with 19 assists, seven steals and four blocked shots.

Prather made 11 of 13 shots. Frazier was 5-of-6 shooting, all from behind the arc.

About the only thing to really go wrong for coach Billy Donovan's team was another injury. Guard DeVon Walker hurt his right foot early in the game and did not return.

The Gators already are playing without point guard Kasey Hill, who is sideline at least a month because of a high-ankle sprain. Center Damonte Harris also is out, still suspended indefinitely. Guard Eli Carter (broken leg) and forward Will Yeguete (knee surgery) are recovering from injuries.

Florida has been so thin that walk-ons have seen playing time early and often.

Eventually, the Gators should get to full strength. They also could get freshman forward Chris Walker eligible, which would give Donovan his deepest team in years.

It probably won't happen before the Jayhawks come to Gainesville on Dec. 10.

That game provided some interesting banter between a Dolphins fan and Donovan. The fan, who was sitting behind Florida's bench and jawing at Donovan all night, was chanting ''Andrew Wiggins'' throughout the game. At one point, Donovan finally turned to him and said, ''I'm more worried about (Kentucky's) Julius Randle.''

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