Gators fight back for overtime win

Florida struggled through the second half. The Gators couldn't get consistent offense going and showed too many holes on the defensive end. After Scottie Wilbekin banked in a jumper to send the game to overtime, No. 10 Florida flipped the switch. The Gators dominated the early part of overtime to pull out an 84-82 win and end the Razorbacks' streak of 25 consecutive home wins.

"I'm really proud of our guys," Billy Donovan said on the postgame radio show. "We got great minutes out of our younger guys. I can't say enough for what we've been through in the last 24 hours and the way our guys stuck together and came in here and fought. It was really impressive."

By eliminating Arkansas' streak, Florida's streak of 24 consecutive home wins is now the third longest active streak in the country.

After the momentum from Scottie Wilbekin's shot to tie the game and send it to overtime, Florida got off to a hot start in overtime. Patric Young hit a jumper from the elbow and Wilbekin forced a turnover on the next possession before drilling a three-pointer to give the Gators an early five-point lead.

Florida eventually pushed its lead to eight points with 1:16 remaining, but turnovers forced the Gators to hit free throws down to stretch to hold onto the lead. Wilbekin took all eight of the free throws in the final 36 second and hit six of them to clinch the win.

Wilbekin (ankle) and Young (knee) came off the bench after missing practice earlier this week.

"Patric was a monster in the second half," Donovan said.

While Wilbekin provided the clutch shots on Saturday, it was Dorian Finney-Smith that led the Gators throughout the game. The redshirt sophomore scored 22 points on 7-15 field goals and pulled down 15 rebounds, including nine offensive. Finney-Smith also had three assists and three steals.

"He was great," Donovan said. "We wanted to give him confidence and just to play. He's always been a phenomenal rebounder and he did a great job of rebounding the ball tonight, but it was good to see him make some shots, put it on the floor and do a lot of different things for us. I was really happy for him personally. We're going to need for him to continue to develop."

Even while Florida trailed for most of regulation, the Gators didn't allow Arkansas to go on a large run to knock them out of the game. Florida has struggled from the free-throw line this season, but that changed on Saturday, helping them stay in game. The Gators went 25-34 from the line.

It didn't look good for the Gators down the stretch. Florida trailed Arkansas 64-59 with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. Kasey Hill hit a circus layup to cut the lead to three before Michael Frazier tied the game with 1:53 left to play. Rashad Madden hit a jumper to give the Razorbacks the lead before Wilbekin tied the game with a jumper that went through with two seconds remaining.

Casey Prather missed Saturday's game with a bone bruise on his knee. His status is known going forward.

Florida returns home to host Georgia on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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