Fastbreak: No. 15 Florida inches past FSU 67-66

By Adam Silverstein
November 29, 2013

No. 13/15 Florida Gators basketball (6-1) won a hard-fought back-and-forth contest on Friday by defeating the Florida State Seminoles (5-2) for the fifth-straight year. Florida triumphed over its in-state rival 67-66 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL for its best and most highly-contested victory on the young season.

OnlyGators.com breaks down the Gators’ win with The Fastbreak.

It was over when: With the game tied at 66 and 22.4 seconds left to play, senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin dribbled out most of the clock but eventually missed a mid-range jumper. However, redshirt sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled in the post, sending him to the line. He missed his first free throw but swished the second with 1.3 remaining, giving Florida a 67-66 lead. Florida State got a legitimate shot at the end but was unable to knock it down as Ian Miller’s buzzer-beater attempt clanged off the back of the rim with no time remaining.

Prominent player: Sophomore guard Michael Frazier II was the Gators’ only truly consistent scorer on a night where points were hard to come by for most of the game. Frazier registered 17 points by draining 5-of-8 threes, including a couple late in the second half, and also came up with a nice block late in the contest.

Significant stretches: Down eight with 3:04 left in the game, FSU scored six-straight points to cut UF’s lead to two. The Gators were up by a game-high nine points late in the second half, but the Seminoles mounted a valiant comeback and even tied the game with 28.3 seconds to play after Miller made a pair of free throws.

Perfect play: Wilbekin had a nice drive to the hoop in the first half that nearly took this spot, but an assist he made near the end of the game ripped it away. With 3:48 remaining in the contest and the Gators only up by five, Wilbekin found senior F Casey Prather cutting to the hoop for a booming alley-oop dunk. How perfect was the play? ESPN reserved it a slot on Friday night’s Top 10 before the game was over. Prather left the court with a game-high 19 points and even hit 7-of-9 tries from the charity stripe.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.

Standout stat: Florida State hit 12 consecutive free throws as it fought tooth and nail to knot up the score with Florida. The Gators, on the other hand, went 3-for-6 during that stretch, giving the visitors ample opportunity to close the gap. Finney-Smith, who was 2-for-12 from the field and only scored six points but did grab a game-high 10 boards, made one when it counted the most, however.

Memorable moment: Senior center Patric Young brought the Rowdy Reptiles to their feet with less than a minute left in the first half. After being stuffed by Boris Bojanovsky on a dunk attempt, Young instantly got angered by the embarrassment and went back up even stronger for a monster two-handed jam. It was two of his four points.

What it means: The Gators won a single-digit decision for the second time in 11 tries dating back to March 10, 2012. It was UF’s first win in a game decided by five points or less since March 9, 2012. Florida also extended its winning streak over Florida State to five games and has now won 20-straight games in the O’Dome as well as 21-in-a-row at home against non-conference opponents. The hard-fought victory was a great test for UF heading into an extremely tough text over the next three weeks.

Next up: Florida will play its first of three-straight ranked opponents on Monday when it hits the road for a game against No. 13 UConn. The Gators are 0-1 against ranked teams this season and 0-4 in the last two campaigns when squaring off against a top-25 team away from their home court. The two programs have not met since 1994.

8 Comments

  1. one says:

    A win is a win. Lot to improve upon. But a close win against a large team is a great test.

    It seems like Prather and Young’s careers at UF are mirror images of each other, even though Prather wasn’t quite a scrub recruit. Young is an undersized center and against FSU, can’t fault him for his issues through the game.

    Frazier is such a great asset when Wilbekin and DFS have such cold shooting nights. FT shooting, as ALWAYS, can improve.

    • adsfjkldfsljkdfs says:

      one – “Young is an undersized center”

      He is an inch or two short for a center but I don’t see him undersized as he has a very big and physical body, it was just that, that Ojo guy that they had was a giant.

  2. J-skool says:

    Florida State’s shot at the buzzer was from 50 feet.

  3. adsfjkldfsljkdfs says:

    Is it just me or did we get hacked about 20 times at the rim to no call by the refs?

  4. steve says:

    Do you think that Eli Carter will be himself again by Febuary or March because if he isn’t there is no reason that we shouldn’t of redshirted him as he isn’t playing well whatsoever.

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