No. 6 Florida grinds out road win

The benefits of a veteran team were on display on Thursday night in Tuscaloosa. Even when things aren't going as planned and shots didn't fall, the Gators never trailed and were in control throughout most of the night. Florida shot 37.7 percent from the field and struggled against the Alabama zone but secured a 68-62 win for the team's 10th straight win and the senior class' 100th career win.

"The zone was disruptive, and we didn't shoot a great percentage from the field," Billy Donovan said on his postgame radio show. "We managed to do things and make some plays to win the game. I thought our defense was good."

Scottie Wilbekin handled the Alabama press and trap defenses late in the game, leading the Gators with 35 minutes and had zero turnovers. Will Yeguete chipped in with 11 rebounds, while Casey Prather was second on the team with 14 points. Center Patric Young got in foul trouble and only played 24 minutes, he chipped in with five points and six rebounds.

All four seniors made their mark in the win.

The offense was sparked by a rejuvenated effort from sophomore guard Michael Frazier. After being held scoreless and making zero three-pointers for the first time this season at Auburn on Saturday, it looked like the frustration might have stayed with Frazier into an 0-3 start from behind the three-point line.

He followed that by hitting five of his next 10 three-point attempts, leading the Gators with 18 points. He swung momentum with a four-point play with six seconds remaining in the first half, pushing Florida's halftime lead to 33-26.

"He's just got to keep shooting," Donovan said. "He had really good looks. He could've shot them out of the zone. It was good for us."

Frazier hears it from his teammates, too. They're constantly in his ear with confidence and commands to keep shooting the ball, even when it isn't going in. The Florida players have seen what happens to the team when Frazier gets hot from behind the three-point line, and they're always expecting it.

"We tell him that if he misses seven in a row, we've still got confidence that he's going to make the next one," forward Dorian Finney-Smith said. "Everybody tells him to just keep shooting. Michael Frazier is the type that just hits five in a row out of nowhere."

Florida clinched the game by going 8-10 from the free throw line in the final minute. However, turnovers allowed the Crimson Tide to get back in the game and keep it closer than it should've been down the stretch.

"The only thing disappointing was a few turnovers," Donovan said. "They let them get back in the game, but it was good to see us bounce back and handle adversity."

Florida will return to Gainesville late Thursday night and have only Friday to prepare for Tennessee, who comes to town for a conference matchup on Saturday at 4 p.m.

"Tennessee is a great team," Finney-Smith said. "They've got a couple big guys. I just know we have to come out with a lot of energy because they're going to come out aggressive."

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