No. 7 Florida survives 68-61 scare against Auburn - WFLA News Channel 8

No. 7 Florida survives 68-61 scare against Auburn

Posted: Updated:
AUBURN, AL (WFLA) -

Billy Donovan cautioned his Florida Gators before the game not to assume Casey Prather would instantly return to form after a two-game layoff.
    
Prather scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half in his comeback from a badly bruised right knee and helped No. 7 Florida survive a scare from Auburn in a 68-61 victory on Saturday. Donovan's warning proved unnecessary.
    
"That rule went out the window after the first half, when he had 16," the coach said. "He was clearly going to play a lot more since he played so well.
    
"I'm not so sure if he's hurt again this game, that this is a game we could pull out."
    
Prather made eight of 10 shots for the Gators (15-2, 4-0 Southeastern Conference), who have won nine straight games and eight in a row at Auburn (8-7, 0-4).
    
Donovan said Prather looked just OK in practice Thursday with no contact, but fared better the day before the game.
    
"He was like, 'When you come back to practice, are you going to baby it or are you going to play?'" Prather said. "I said I was going to play."
    
Tahj Shamsid-Deen hit a jump shot with 1:59 left to cut Florida's lead to 62-61, but Scottie Wilbekin answered with a fadeaway jumper.
    
"We didn't really have anything going on that possession," Wilbeken said. "My first drive, I didn't have anything so I tried to give it to Casey Prather coming around behind me. His man denied him, so I had to make another move and I just made it."
    
Wilbekin, who scored 16 points, made two of four free throws over the final 48 seconds.
    
Patric Young blocked KT Harrell's attempt to bring Auburn to within two points in between those trips to the line.
    
Kasey Hill made two late free throws for the final margin.
    
Young scored 13 for Florida, which outrebounded Auburn 31-23.
    
Chris Denson, the SEC's leading scorer, had 15 of his 21 points in the second half to help keep the Tigers close. Harrell added 18 points and made 4 of 7 3-pointers. Allen Payne finished with 11 points.
    
"They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said.
    
Auburn has lost its first four SEC games by a combined 23 points. The Tigers have dropped their last 14 against league teams overall.
    
The Gators, who lost a 13-point lead in the first half, made 21 of 39 shots (53.8 percent).
    
Florida made 23 of 33 free throws while Auburn was 14 of 22. The Tigers' point guards, Shamsid-Deen and Malcolm Canada, both fouled out.
    
Prather got right into his offensive rhythm after the layoff. He came in with 16:58 remaining, hit two quick jump shots and made his first five attempts, including a fast-break dunk off a nice bounce pass from Hill.
    
The Gators reeled off a 14-1 run for a 23-10 lead while the Tigers missed their first 10 attempts from inside the 3-point line. Walk-on Alex Thompson finally scored on a putback 13 minutes into the game for Auburn's first basket since making a third consecutive 3-pointer with 14:28 left in the half.
    
Auburn hit all five of its 3-point attempts in the first half and finished 7 of 13.
    
Despite Prather's surge, the Gators barely led at halftime. Wilbekin made two free throws with 3 seconds left to give Florida a 33-32 halftime lead.
    
Auburn had scored 14 consecutive points to briefly take the lead.
    
"Florida has the best defense I have ever seen," said Denson, adding that the Gators altered a number of shots. "I was the one in the first half that missed a lot of layups, but I think it was a little bit of nerves. Playing the No. 7 team in the country, and I was just anxious. We got the nerves out and then started getting in the grooves offensively."
    
Florida pushed the lead as high as 48-40 in the first seven minutes after the half, but couldn't pull away.
    
Auburn announced before tipoff that reserve guard Chris Griffin has left school and is transferring. Griffin averaged 5.7 points in seven games as a junior before he was indefinitely suspended for violating school policy on Jan. 11.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Frightened neighbors voice concerns about Pasco mental health ALF

    Frightened neighbors voice concerns about Pasco mental health ALF

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:01:54 GMT
    In the middle of a New Port Richey subdivision on Langston Ave. white iron gates lead to a large compound surrounded by barbed wire fences. Inside there is a swimming pool, parking lotand several buildings that formerly served as the neighborhood HOA community center.
    In the middle of a New Port Richey subdivision on Langston Ave. white iron gates lead to a large compound surrounded by barbed wire fences. Inside there is a swimming pool, parking lotand several buildings that formerly served as the neighborhood HOA community center.
  • Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:47:05 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
  • 2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:01:24 GMT
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photoAbout 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photo
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa Police arrest man for murder outside nightclub

    Tampa Police arrest man for murder outside nightclub

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:04:54 GMT
    Tampa Police have arrested 27-year-old Edgardo Molina of Tampa for a murder outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning.
    Tampa Police have arrested 27-year-old Edgardo Molina of Tampa for a murder outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning.
  • I-75 NB reopens in Manatee County after deadly accident

    I-75 NB reopens in Manatee County after deadly accident

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:52:10 GMT
    Deadly crash in Manatee County.Deadly crash in Manatee County.
    Florida Highway Patrol troopers reopened I-75 in Manatee County after a deadly accident shutdown the northbound lanes early Friday evening.
    Florida Highway Patrol troopers reopened I-75 in Manatee County after a deadly accident shutdown the northbound lanes early Friday evening.

  • A Sarasota high school remembers slain varsity cheerleader

    A Sarasota high school remembers slain varsity cheerleader

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:49:47 GMT
    It was hard to tell that the team colors of Riverview High School in Sarasota County were maroon and gray Friday night.Most of the crowd was wearing blue.“Her favorite color was blue,” said varsity cheerleader Devyn Kelly. Kelly is talking about fellow cheerleader Teria'le Rawls who was gunned down almost four weeks ago.
    It was hard to tell that the team colors of Riverview High School in Sarasota County were maroon and gray Friday night.Most of the crowd was wearing blue.“Her favorite color was blue,” said varsity cheerleader Devyn Kelly. Kelly is talking about fellow cheerleader Teria'le Rawls who was gunned down almost four weeks ago.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.