Fastbreak: Florida inches past Memphis 77-75

The No. 16 Florida Gators (8-2) picked up another huge victory on Tuesday night in the 2013 Jimmy V. Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, holding on for a hard-fought 77-75 victory over the No. 15 Memphis Tigers (7-2).

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

It was over when: Memphis guard Joe Jackson, the team’s leading scorer with 17 points, drove the lane with six seconds remaining and his team down two only to be stifled by tight defense from Florida forwards senior Will Yeguete and redshirt sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith. Yeguete cleaned up with four points and four rebounds, while Finney-Smith finished with 14 points and a team-high eight boards.

Prominent player: Gators senior F Casey Prather once again proved to be his team’s most valuable asset on the court, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting while hitting all six of his free throws including four with less than 1:20 to play. Prather scored Florida’s last eight points and also finished with five rebounds and a block.

Standout stats: UF dominated the boards, earning a 36-25 advantage overall while doubling up its opponent on the offensive glass (14-7). On the other hand, Memphis bothered Florida into commit 18 turnovers while only coughing up 11 of its own. The forced changes in possession negated the Gators’ rebounding advantage and kept the game closer than it perhaps should have been.

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

First half focus: Florida jumped ahead by a game-high 12 points midway through the first half by hitting four of its first six shots from beyond the arc, but an 8-0 run spanning just over a minute cut the Gators’ advantage down to four. Memphis eventually took a 36-35 lead with 2:41 to play thanks to a 6-0 run, but UF fought back to lead 41-38 at the break.

Significant stretch: A quick 5-1 run capped by UF freshman point guard Kasey Hill’s first career three-pointer gave Florida an eight-point lead with 6:03 to play. The Tigers ate into that advantage, but the Gators held on through the remainder of the contest. Hill finished with five points, three assists, three boards and three turnovers.

Perfect play: Though he struggled with turnovers and rushed miscues, but Hill completed a beautiful assist to senior center Patric Young with 4:23 left in the first half. Hill threaded the needle with a bounce pass down the lane to Young, who was running to the basket and laid it in with ease to put Florida ahead 35-30. Young got in early foul trouble and eventually fouled out of the game but looked great in the first half. He left the game with eight points and a team-high eight rebounds including six offensive.

What it means: The Gators improved to 2-2 against top 25-ranked opponents this season and defeated a ranked team away from its home court for the first time since Dec. 17, 2011 (vs. Texas A&M in Sunrise, FL). UF also picked up its fourth single-digit victory in six tries this year after going 0-6 in such contests last season.

Next up: Florida plays its final neutral-site contest of the regular season when it faces Fresno State on Saturday in Sunrise, FL as part of the 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic at the BB&T Center.

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13 Responses to “Fastbreak: Florida inches past Memphis 77-75”

  1. Joshua says:

    Great game and great win for us on national tv tonight! Memphis is a solid team. Its cool to see how much Prather has improved over the years. Kasey Hill is showing signs of brilliance as well. Way too many turnovers, though. I still think we can get a lot better.

  2. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Can’t wait till Chris Walker finally gets involved then this team will definetly have the potential to be truly special just as long as we stay out of trouble as well as stay healthy (knock on wood) whew lol Go Gators !!!!!!

  3. Uf_84 says:

    Great defense at the end to put it away. Free throws, as usual, made this one a whole lot closer than it needed to be. I get nervous every time we get to one and one in a close game. Casey Prather has been a real stud this year. Love how someone different seems to step up in big games (Young vs Uconn, Scottie vs Kansas, and Prather tonight). All in all a great win.
    Can’t wait to see what happens when we add Chris Walker to this group. Better get ready SEC. Go Gators!

  4. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    So true Uf_84 free throws free throws free throws, luckily Patrick Young never had to go to the Line, but with the exception of late in the game overall the Gators improved at the line and shot the ball good from the line but we’ve got to learn to put teams away no doubt but still that was a great win against a very talented Memphis Basketball team if we’d of had this line up from the beginning we would obviously be undefeated in my humbe opinion……

  5. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Plus I’m very proud of all those Gators fans that showed up at Madison Square Garden to support our team, again Gators all over the country are the best fans in all of college Sports Go Gators !!!!!! & go Gators fans great job trying to turn MSG into the O’Dome tonight

  6. Matt says:

    Great win seeing that we had to beat Memphis and the refs. Clean up free throws and travels and we might go far….

  7. TST says:

    WTG Gators . Bought home another close game . Mempis is going to be good .Just watch their record . Very sneaky team also . Very good Gator D and Boom , Tiger wide open under the basket repeatedly. Gators played tough and clean and are trilling to watch imo ..Cheers . GO GATORS

  8. one says:

    Good win and happy to not have to cringe whenever they’re in a close game. I think we got a little spoiled last year when the team blew other teams out regularly.

    Young, Prather, and Wilbekin have been terrific for us this year. It’s too bad Yeguete has had those knee injuries because his game is a lot less dynamic than it was his previous years. No lift.

    • one says:

      And I don’t understand why more top recruits wouldn’t come to Florida. The past 3 years only Florida has made it as far the Elite 8 each trip. With Chandler and Beal making waves in the NBA, most players should understand that there is enormous potential for every player here with Donovan-from one and dones to 4 year players.

  9. SWFL Joe says:

    Great win. A game that last year we would have found a way to lose. Learning how to win the close ones away from home while not playing our best is going to pay dividends down the road.

  10. gatorboi352 says:

    Did anyone else see the stat on ESPN about Memphis’ head coach? His record against ranked opponents: 1-13. Ouch!

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