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Saturday January 4, 2014At the Buzzer: Florida 67, Richmond 58 (Instant Analysis)

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer

Florida 67, Richmond 58

WHAT HAPPENED: Trailing by four points with less than eight minutes to play, the 12th-ranked Gators found their scoring touch, but more importantly found defense, and blitzed the pesky Richmond Spiders down the stretch Saturday for a big win. Sophomore guard Michael Frazier led UF with 18 points, including a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers when his team desperately needed an offensive spark. Senior center Patric Young had 15 points and six rebounds, while senior forward Casey Prather had 12 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith came off the bench to grab 13 rebounds, the most by a UF player this season.

WHAT IT MEANS: Florida put a wrap on one of the most ambitious non-conference schedule in school history. Don’t be surprised if this win over Richmond, a tough team from a very solid Atlantic 10 Conference, doesn’t look a lot better come March. The A-10, by the way, is tied with the Southeastern Conference as the seventh-toughest in the nation, according to RPI.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Free throws. The Gators are not good at shooting them. They didn’t attempt any for the game’s first 28 1/2 minutes, then went just 10-for-19 -- that’s 52.6 percent -- and missed six of last nine in the final 11 1/2 minutes. That needs to improve.  

STAGGERING STATISTIC: UF blasted Richmond 44-22 on the glass, yet it was a tight game basically to the final minute.

SUBPLOT: UF won its 23rd consecutive home game and extended the second-longest such streak in school history. The Gators can tie the record of 24 home wins in a row -- a mark set over the end of the 2006 season and start of ’06-07 -- with its next game.

UP NEXT: The Gators (11-2) tip off conference play at home Wednesday night against South Carolina (7-6), a team that started slow but has won four straight.


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