GAINESVILLE — Florida basketball coach Billy Donovan made it clear this week he doesn't believe in revenge games.
But entering Friday night's game against Jacksonville, several Gator players said they clearly remembered last year's overtime loss to the Dolphins — and the way Jacksonville celebrated on Florida's home court.
Revenge might not have been the major factor Friday, but it was part of a strong motivation to win. No. 10 Florida (4-1) led by 20 at halftime and went on to defeat Jacksonville 107-62.
"I felt like this game was the best game we've played in terms of how I envisioned our team playing offensive and defensively," Donovan said. "Our guys were disappointed about the loss last year, and they came in focused. I thought we played the right way. It was good to see the jump from the last game to this game."
The Gators played the game without junior forward Erik Murphy and missed sophomore forward Casey Prather in the second half (groin). Donovan said trainers ruled out an ACL injury to Murphy, but the exact nature of the injury was unknown.
Sophomore forward Will Yeguette got his first start in Murphy's absence and had eight points and nine rebounds.
Florida shot 44 percent from 3-point range. The Gators have hit double-digit 3-pointers in every game this season. The Gators played an up-tempo, pressing style that wore JU (2-3) down.
"That was our goal," said Gators senior guard Erving Walker, who had 21 points and six assists. "Coach wanted us to wear them down. That's why we get in shape in the summer and do all the running, so we can be able to play at that pace."
Florida junior guard Kenny Boynton led all scorers with 22, and freshman guard Bradley Beal added 15 points and five assists. Russell Powell led the Dolphins with 15 points, and fellow guard Keith McDougald added 12.
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]