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All five Gator starters scored in double-figures as Florida won its 29th consecutive game at the O'Dome.

Saturday February 8, 2014At the Buzzer: Florida 78, Alabama 69 (Instant Analysis)

All five Gator starters scored in double-figures as Florida won its 29th consecutive game at the O'Dome.

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

AT THE BUZZER

FLORIDA 78, ALABAMA 69


WHAT HAPPENED: The third-ranked Gators used an early burst in the second half to open up a game that was tied at the break and speed to their 10th win in as many tries in Southeastern Conference play. UF put five players in double-figures, led by Scottie Wilbekin’s 16 points and forward Will Yeguete’s most complete game of the season. Yeguete finished with 12 points on 6-for-8 from the floor, three rebounds and four assists. The numbers will say Florida did not play great defense, as Alabama shot 55 percent from the floor and 54 from the 3-point line, but the Gators forced 16 turnovers which led to 27 points.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Gators won their 15th straight and maintained that two-game cushion over Kentucky in the SEC standings. It was also the team’s 29th consecutive win at the O’Dome, padding that school record.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Senior forward and UF leading scorer Casey Prather came into the game having totaled just 12 points his previous two games, while fighting through a sore ankle. He was limited during Friday’s practice, but went 7-for-11 from the field and carded 15 points and six rebounds.

STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Gators went 1-for-5 from the 3-point line in the first half, making them 10-for-59 in the first half of their last six home games. That’s 16.9 percent. Repeat: On. Their. Home. Floor. Conversely, after UF went 5-for-12 from distance at its home bench end in the second half, the Gators are now 28-for-64 from after halftime at the O'Dome (43.7 percent). Go ahead, explain that.

SUBPLOT: On the Chris Walker watch, the freshman center who made his spectacular debut in the Tuesday win over Missouri with a pair of monster all-oop dunks, played similar minutes and scored four points. Yes, he had another dunk.

UP NEXT: The season-long three-game SEC home stand is complete. Now the Gators (21-2, 10-0) are on the road for back-to-back road dates -- their toughest two straight in the league -- when they’ll play at Tennessee (14-8, 5-4) Tuesday night, then at Kentucky (17-5, 17-2) next Saturday night at 9 p.m. The Volunteers will be out to avenge last month’s 26-point pasting in Gainesville, while the Wildcats will be on the Gators’ heels in the race for the conference’s regular-season crown. We’ll know a lot more about UF’s standing in the SEC a week from today.

 

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