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Florida Gators basketball (6-1) finished the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in third place after dispatching the Miami Hurricanes (4-2) on Sunday afternoon in Orlando, Florida.
The Gators fought back from an early deficit to beat the Canes 65-56, finishing the event with a 2-1 record and seeing its sole loss come by five points to No. 11 Gonzaga, which wound up winning the whole thing.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Sunday’s victory below.
It was over when … Leading by four with less than four minutes to play, Florida used an 8-2 run — including two of redshirt junior center John Egbunu three baskets, all of which came in the final five minutes — to jump ahead 63-53 on Miami. All UF had to do was hold UM off for the final minute to claim victory over an in-state rival and tough opponent.
Exceptional efforts: Sunday belonged to redshirt freshman forward Keith Stone, who set career-high marks with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and eight rebounds. Stone hit both of his threes and 3-of-4 free throws, sometimes single-handedly keeping the Gators in the game during most of the contest. Senior point guard Kasey Hill put his halo on Sunday, hitting 4-of-7 field goals and 8-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe (with no shots from long range) for a game-high 16 points. Hill also had a 3-to-1 ratio of assists to turnovers and saw a team-high 31 minutes of action.
Significant stats: Though Florida was not great on the fastbreak, it capitalized off Miami’s 13 turnovers by converting them into 21 points on the afternoon. The Gators also blocked 11 shots and scored 36 points in the paint with Egbunu responsible for three of those swats and six points points in the final five minutes.
What it means: Florida bounced back from a tough loss to No. 11 Gonzaga on Friday with a big win Sunday against a rival. Due to UF’s 6-1 record with all six victories in neutral-site contests — including two quality wins and a quality loss in Orlando — it would not be a surprise to see the Gators ranked in the new AP Top 25 on Monday.
Odds and ends: It was truly an impressive defensive performance by Florida, which hounded Miami on the interior and held UM to just 37.7 percent shooting on the afternoon … the Gators got beat on offensive rebounds and second-chance points but got 19 points from their bench (15 from Stone) … graduate transfer guard Canyon Barry was completely ineffective on Sunday, going 0-for-6 from the field and not attempting a single free throw … lost in the big performances of Hill and Stone was junior F Devin Robinson, who went 5-for-9 with 10 points, five boards and three blocks … both Florida and Miami led for about 18 minutes in the game, which is impressive considering the Gators won by nine
Up next: Florida will get a bit of a breather after playing five neutral-site games in 11 days and next see the court on Thursday when it plays a road game at North Florida at 7 p.m. ET in Jacksonville. It will be the only game of the week for the Gators and the last of the season that will not be televised.