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Free throw lifts UF over FSU


Published:   |   Updated: November 30, 2013 at 01:04 AM

GAINESVILLE — Dorian Finney-Smith had a miserable shooting night and missed the first of two foul shots with 1.3 seconds left in Friday night’s 67-66 win against Florida State.

Between shots, senior center Patric Young caught the transfer from Virginia Tech’s attention and offered some simple advice.

“Pat came up to me and told me to be great,” said Finney-Smith, who had come up with a rebound of a Scottie Wilbekin miss and drew the foul in the tense last moment.

And he was, making the final foul shot to seal the win.

“My teammates were like whatever happens, happens: ‘We’ve got your back,’ ” Finney-Smith said. “So I just shot it with confidence like I do every day in practice. They told me that before, Patric said it before, and Patric was like ‘be great’ on the second one. ‘It’s OK, that one’s over with, just make this one.’

“It felt really good. I felt like I had a lot of weight off my back because I couldn’t make shots the whole game.”

But it didn’t end there. Florida State’s Ian Miller fired a shot from half-court that hit the back of the rim and came out, almost pulling off a miracle win.

“I’ve been in a number of those games,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “You throw one up from half-court, you’ve just got to take what comes. ... But I was more concerned how we got in that position.”

Finney-Smith made just two of 12 field-goal tries, including a missed dunk.

Casey Prather and Michael Frazier (Plant) combined for 23 second-half points for the Gators (6-1).

Prather had 12 in the second half to give him a game-high 19 points overall, including a dunk to make it 60-53.

Frazier, who had 11 second-half points and finished with 17, had five 3-pointers for the second straight game. In the last two outings, he is 10 of 14 behind the arc and is over 50 percent for the season.

“We struggled at times and I thought Frazier really carried us,” UF coach Billy Donovan said. “His 3’s were very timely.”

During one second-half stretch Prather and Frazier scored 12 straight points for Florida. But Florida State made eight straight foul shots to stay in the game and Aaron Thomas made a layup to cut UF’s lead to 63-61 with 1:38 left in the game.

Wilbekin responded with two foul shots, but Miller hit a 3 and it was a one-point game. Prather hit one foul shot at 41.8. Miller made two foul shots to tie it at 66 for FSU (5-2) with 28.3 seconds left.

FLORIDA ST. (5-2) — White 2-6 4-4 9, Gilchrist 2-9 0-0 4, Bojanovsky 6-6 2-2 14, Bookert 1-4 0-0 2, Brandon 1-7 0-0 2, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Thomas 4-10 4-4 12, Miller 3-7 6-6 13, Ojo 3-3 4-7 10. Totals 22-52 20-23 66.

FLORIDA (6-1) — Yeguete 2-7 1-1 6, Prather 6-10 7-9 19, Young 2-4 0-0 4, Wilbekin 2-12 3-5 7, Frazier 6-11 0-0 17, Carter 0-0 0-2 0, Finney-Smith 2-12 2-4 6, Kurtz 3-4 2-3 8. Totals 23-60 15-24 67.

Halftime—Florida 31-28. 3-Point Goals—Florida St. 2-10 (White 1-1, Miller 1-4, Brandon 0-1, Gilchrist 0-1, Thomas 0-3), Florida 6-16 (Frazier 5-8, Yeguete 1-2, Wilbekin 0-1, Prather 0-1, Finney-Smith 0-4). Fouled Out—Bojanovsky. Rebounds—Florida St. 37 (Brandon 7), Florida 38 (Finney-Smith 10). Assists—Florida St. 10 (Miller 5), Florida 15 (Wilbekin 8). Total Fouls—Florida St. 20, Florida 18. Technical—Florida bench. A—12,306.

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