The Florida Gator men’s basketball team (7-2) bounced back from a buzzer-beater loss against UConn last Monday as they defeated No. 13 Kansas (6-3) at home Tuesday night 67-61. The win extended the Gator’s home court winning streak to 21 games.
Senior guard Scottie Wilbekin was back on the court after sustaining an ankle injury in last Monday’s game against the Huskies. Wilbekin made 7 of 12 shots and notched six assists while leading the team with 18 points.
“Whenever somebody makes a good play I think the other four guys feed off of that,” Wilbekin said. “I made some good plays tonight, Dorian hit some threes tonight, Kasey did a great job closing out the free-throw line tonight, and Patric did a great job when he got it in the post. I don’t think you can point to one thing, it’s everybody on our team doing a good job. We feed off each other.”
Dorian Finney-Smith put 15 points on the board, Patric Young added 12 points and six rebounds, and Casey Prather, who went scoreless the first 28 minutes of the game, scored 12 on the evening and grabbed eight rebounds.
“They are very talented, young though. They aren’t as experienced as we are, which I think really helped us to close this game out in the long run. We know what it takes to win in big games like this,” said Patric Young.
Heralded Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins led the Jayhawks in scoring with 26 points while grabbing 11 rebounds, both career highs and it was also his first double-double as well.
But a young Jayhawks team had trouble with the basketball, committing 16 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of game action, ending up with 24 turnovers that the Gators turned into 28 points.
Kansas went up early 10-3 but the Gators went on a 21-0 run after that, building as much as an 18 point lead. But the Jayhawks made a game of it in the second half cutting their deficit to five late in the game but the Gators closed things out for the win.
As well as Florida played defensively, free throw shooting was another matter; the Gators hit just 20 of 34 free throws (58 percent) for the game.
Up next for Florida, they will travel to New York City to take on Memphis (6-1) in the Jimmy V Classic.