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Wednesday December 18, 2013At the Buzzer: Florida 77, Memphis 75 (instant analysis)

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

AT THE BUZZER -
Florida 77, Memphis 75

WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators got a game-high 22 points from senior forward Casey Prather, who scored UF’s final eight points, including two free throws with 27.2 seconds to go that gave Florida a four-point lead and helped hold off the No. 15 Tigers in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. After senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin missed the front end of a one-and-one with 17.1 to go, Tigers guard Joe Jackson rimmed out a driving bank shot attempt that was batted to halfcourt by forward Dorian Finney-Smith as time expired. The win gave the Gators their second straight victory over a ranked opponent. UF defeated then-No. 13 Kansas last week at Gainesville.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Prather was terrific at the end of the game, scoring eight in the final 2:42, including four huge, pressure-packed free throws. He finished 8-for-13 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: Florida came into the game averaging 10.6 turnovers, but gave it away a season-high 17 times and kept the Tigers and their fast-breaking, transition offense in it.
 
SUBPLOT: Another single-digit game for the Gators. And another win. They were 0-6 in games decided by less than 10 points last season. They’ve already played six such contests this season and are now 4-2.

UP NEXT: The Gators (8-2) will bus to South Florida to face Fresno State (6-5) in the second game of the Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise. Tipoff for that one is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (or 30 minutes after the opening game between Florida State and Massachusetts).

 

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