Florida cruises past UNF, moves on to second round of NIT

Florida center John Egbunu (15) lays the ball to the basket past North Florida guard Beau Beech (2) during NCAA college basketball action in the first round of the NIT at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Gary Lloyd McCullough/AP

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Dorian Finney-Smith had 15 points, nine rebounds and four steals, and Florida built a 22-point halftime lead to cruise past North Florida 97-68 on Tuesday night to advance to the second round of the NIT.

John Egbunu capped Florida’s big first half with his 68th dunk of the season to set a program single-season record.

Florida 97, North Florida 68

Florida made 12 of 19 3-pointers in the first half to help build a 57-25 lead. Finney-Smith, KeVaughn Allen and Kasey Hill each scored 12 in the half and the trio combined for 8 of 13 from 3-point range.

North Florida, the nation’s top 3-point shooting team with 402 made entering the game, was just 4 of 15 in the first half.

The Ospreys hit five 3s in the opening five minutes of the second half but still trailed by 26.

All five starters for Florida (20-14) scored in double figures. Egbunu finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but Florida coach Mike White announced after the game that Egbunu will have season-ending thumb surgery on Thursday.

Egbunu tore a ligament in his thumb during practice last week, but played three games before opting for surgery.

Dallas Moore had 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists for North Florida (22-12).

The game was played at North Florida because of a $65 million renovation to Florida’s O’Connell Center.