By Mike Brandes – OnlyGators.com Contributor
The No. 16 Florida Gators (9-2) rolled the Fresno State Bulldogs (6-6) on Saturday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL, picking up a 66-49 victory in the second game of the 2013 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.
OnlyGators.com breaks down the Gators’ ninth win with The Fastbreak.
It was over when: Florida found its three-point stroke. A trio if triples from sophomore guard Michael Frazier II and point guards senior Scottie Wilbekin and freshman Kasey Hill stretched the Gators lead to as much as 15 early in the second half. Fresno State made small runs, but UF’s lead never shrunk below nine. Wilbekin finished with 11 points, three assists and six rebounds on the afternoon.
Prominent player: Senior forward Casey Prather continued to impress for the Gators, going 7-of-10 for 14 points with six boards. Prather, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, provided much-needed offense for Florida, something the team was without most of the game, especially in the first 20 minutes.
Standout stat: The Gators out-rebounded the Bulldogs 47-24, providing Florida with numerous opportunities for second-chance points. This edge led to the Gators scoring 16 of 23 first-half points inside the paint. UF would score more than half (34) of its total points (66) down low.
Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.
Significant stretch: Coming out of the break, the Gators pulled off a 15-4 run that resulted in a 15-point lead. UF pulled away from there, eventually stretching its advantage to 22 points. Highlighting the run was the return of the Gators’ three-point shooting as the team hit three treys on the scoring stretch after shooting a pitiful 1-for-12 from downtown in the first half.
Perfect play: Early in the first half, senior center Patric Young single-handedly beat a Fresno State triple team to score an early post bucket. Points were hard to come by in the first half, and Young certainly earned those two. He left the court late in the second half with eight points and eight boards.
What it means: Florida won its third-straight and moves to 9-2 on the season, improving to 13-2 all time in the OBBC. The Gators are now 2-0 at neutral sites this year after beating No. 15 Memphis on Tuesday in New York, NY.
Next up: UF returns home after eight days off to host Savannah State (1-10) on Sunday, Dec. 29 in the Gators’ final contest of 2013.