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Scottie Wilbekin scored 18 points off the bench as the Gators snapped Arkansas' home win streak.

Saturday January 11, 2014At the Buzzer: Florida 84, Arkansas 82 (overtime) -- Instant Analysis

Scottie Wilbekin scored 18 points off the bench as the Gators snapped Arkansas' home win streak.

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer

FLORIDA 84, ARKANSAS 82 (overtime)

WHAT HAPPENED: Scottie Wilbekin hit a 16-foot bank shot with two seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and the 10th-ranked Florida Gators raced past the stunned Arkansas Razorbacks and a home crowd at Bud Walton Arena for a monumental Southeastern Conference road victory and sixth straight win. Wilbekin did not start the game, held out after missing practice Friday with a sore ankle, but came off the bench to score 18 points, including nine in overtime to help ice the victory. Sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith, who started at center for Pat Young, was spectacular and kept the Gators in the game, finishing with UF career highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds. 

WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators not only improved to 2-0 in SEC play, but picked up a win in one of the nation’s most hostile venues. Arkansas had won 25 straight games at home (including two at Little Rock), a mark that was tied (with Duke) for the second-longest in the nation coming into the game. The game also was UF’s sixth win in eight single-digit games this season. Florida was 0-6 in such games last season.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Finney-Smith has been criticized by the UF coaches for his motor, but he was purring most of afternoon. The Virginia Tech transfer went 7-for-14 from the floor, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range, including a big trey in overtime.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: Arkansas barely won the rebounding edge, 45-44, but the Hogs crushed the Gators on the offensive end 20-14 and scored 23 points off those second-chance opportunities.

SUBPLOT: Oh, almost forgot. The Gators were without their leading scorer, senior forward Casey Prather, due to a bone bruise on his right knee. Prather’s status is day to day, but his teammates collectively picking him up was a huge shot in the arm for this team.

UP NEXT: The Gators (13-2, 2-0) return home for a Tuesday night ESPN game against Georgia (7-6, 1-0, heading into a 4 p.m. game vs. Alabama), which already went on the road and upset 21st-ranked Missouri, halting the nation’s second-longest home winning streak at 26 games. Anyone remember “Mohawk Night” last year in honor of Will Yeguete’s “do?” Well, Tuesday will be “Beard Night,” a shout-out to Patric Young, with the first 1,000 students -- are you listening Rowdy Reptiles? -- getting faux beards to wear during the game.


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