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November 8, 2013

Instant Analysis: Shorthanded Gators hold on for win



The No. 10 Florida Gators (1-0) took care of business Friday to kick off homecoming weekend in a 77-69 win against North Florida (0-1). Instant Analysis takes a look.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: The Gators found their outside range just in time to seal the deal on a season-opening victory. Eli Carter and Michael Frazier hit 3-pointers before Kasey Hill put together back to back wild buckets to give Florida a 60-42 lead with 8:51 remaining.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: It was the Casey Prather show for Florida, as the senior forward took the game over early and only relinquished control of it when he was watching from the bench. Prather surpassed his career-high point total of 14 points in the first half and finished with 28 points on 10 for 15 shooting. He also added eight rebounds, an assist and a block.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Florida's offense needed every bit of what Prather was able to do, especially in the first half. Already lacking numbers, Hill and center Patric Young found foul trouble in the first half and left a depleted offense on the court. Outside of Prather, the Gators combined to shoot 22.2 percent in the first half and went 0 for 6 from beyond the arc. Florida shot 50 percent from the field in the second half.

WHAT A PLAY: Hill, the freshman point guard, continued to dazzle in his official debut. After watching for most of the first half, Hill took off in transition and drove the lane on a play that turned into an acrobatic, twisting layup. He finished the day with 14 points and four assists.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The new offense-friendly officiating that will be a big part of college basketball this season was on full display Friday, and Florida took full advantage. There were 36 total fouls, 24 on North Florida and the Gators responded by playing aggressive drive-happy basketball forcing the issue physically inside on offense. Florida made its first 17 shots from the free-throw line to build its first-half lead. North Florida finished 8 of 15.


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