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Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Gators use 21-0 run to top Kansas

BY DAVID JONES
Florida Today

Published:

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GAINESVILLE — Florida scored 21 straight points during a stretch of more than eight minutes in the first half en route to a 67-61 win against Kansas on Tuesday night in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.

It was the Gators’ first home win against a top 25 team in the month of December since beating Ohio State 86-60 on Dec. 23, 2006.

Scottie Wilbekin, who suffered a sprained ankle a week ago in a 65-64 loss at Connecticut, led Florida with a career-high 18 points, including three huge baskets and two free throws in the final 13-plus minutes of the game. He also had six assists.

Dorian Finney-Smith finished with 15 points. Patric Young scored 10 first-half points to key the huge run and finished with 12.

Casey Prather finished with 13 points, off his 19.1 average, but hit eight in a row from the foul line in the final two minutes to seal the win.

The young Jayhawks, coming off a 75-72 loss at Colorado, fell to 6-3 with their third loss in four games. Kansas was held to just 22 points in the first half, a season low. The Gators didn’t shoot especially well (13 of 35 in the first 20 minutes) but forced Kansas into 16 turnovers in the half, to three for Florida (7-2).

The Gators played the first time with Kasey Hill, a freshman McDonald’s All-American, and Wilbekin on the court at the same time. Hill had a high ankle sprain and missed the last four games. Wilbekin was suspended to start the season.

Kansas star freshman Andrew Wiggins was held to eight points in the first half but finished with a game-high 26 points and 11 rebounds.

KANSAS (6-3) — Ellis 2-3 0-0 4, Embiid 3-6 0-1 6, Mason 3-6 1-2 9, Selden, Jr. 1-4 1-2 4, Wiggins 7-15 8-8 26, White III 0-0 0-0 0, Tharpe 1-4 0-0 2, Greene 1-3 2-2 5, Frankamp 0-0 0-0 0, Black 0-2 0-0 0, Traylor 1-1 3-4 5, Lucas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-44 15-19 61.

FLORIDA (7-2) — Yeguete 0-4 1-4 1, Prather 1-5 10-12 12, Young 5-13 2-7 12, Wilbekin 7-12 2-3 18, Frazier II 1-4 0-0 3, Hill 1-3 4-6 6, Finney-Smith 5-13 1-2 15, Kurtz 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 20-34 67.

Halftime—Florida 36-21. 3-Point Goals—Kansas 8-19 (Wiggins 4-9, Mason 2-3, Greene 1-2, Selden, Jr. 1-3, Tharpe 0-2), Florida 7-14 (Finney-Smith 4-6, Wilbekin 2-5, Frazier II 1-2, Yeguete 0-1). Rebounds—Kansas 40 (Wiggins 11), Florida 30 (Prather 8). Assists—Kansas 11 (Tharpe 5), Florida 12 (Wilbekin 6). Total Fouls—Kansas 25, Florida 19. A—12,423.

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