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November 16, 2006

Florida has no problem with 14th straight win

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -Al Horford and Joakim Noah dominated again inside, combining for 34 points and 17 rebounds and leading top-ranked Florida to a 90-61 victory against Jacksonville on Thursday night.

The defending national champions extending their winning streak to 14 games and won their 23rd consecutive game against non-conference opponents.

Florida (3-0) built a 31-point lead late in the first half, going ahead 45-14 on Taurean Green's 3-pointer, and cruised the rest of the way. The Gators made 23 of their first 27 shots, and hit 59 percent for the game.

Even with the reserves playing much of the second half, the Gators overwhelmed Jacksonville (1-2). They did the same to Samford and North Florida to open the season.

It was the second game in three days for Florida and the second of four contests over eight days as the champs prepare for the Las Vegas Invitational next week. The Gators will play Western Kentucky and No. 3 Kansas on consecutive nights in Vegas.

Corey Claitt led the Dolphins with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Jesse Kimbrough and Tyrone Curnell added 10 points apiece.

The Gators played almost flawlessly in the first half and led 56-20. They shot 79 percent from the floor, compiled a 23-7 rebound advantage and recorded 18 assists on 23 baskets. The only downside was 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes - more than Florida had in either of its first two games.

Jacksonville kept it close early, trailing 13-8 in the opening minutes. But the Gators used a 20-2 run - Horford and Noah took over inside - and essentially put the game away with more than a half to play.

Noah and Horford finished a combined 15-of-22 from the field, scoring mostly on dunks, layups and putbacks. Backup center Chris Richard was equally effective down low, scoring nine points on 3-of-4 shooting.

Green had seven points, five assists and three rebounds. Lee Humphrey continued to struggle from behind the 3-point line. He was 1-for-3, making him 3-for-12 on the season.

For more coverage of Duke, visit GatorBait.net.

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