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January 4, 2014

Instant Analysis: Gators win non-conference finale

No one will confuse it for a work of art, but No. 12 Florida (11-2) did enough to sneak past Richmond (10-5) for a 67-58 win in the Gators' final non-conference game of the 2013-2014 season. Florida has now won 23 consecutive home games and is one win away from a school record. Instant Analysis takes a look.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Michael Frazier II went to the free-throw line with just over two minutes left in the game and sank his only two free throws of the game. The shots gave Florida its first double-digit lead of the game and put the game out of reach.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: Patric Young was the closest thing Florida had to an efficient offensive player. He went 6 of 8 from the field, scored 15 points and was the only Gator to shoot a free throw until 3:50 remained in the game. Young rounded out his game with five rebounds and two assists, one on a nifty feed to Casey Prather to cap off a first-half play. Honorable mention to Frazier II. On a day when Florida's offense sputtered, it was Frazier's three 3-point baskets in the second half that launched the UF offense. He finished with 18 points.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Assist numbers haven't been great all season for the Gators, but the numbers have been written off because of various factors. Saturday, they were representative of a poor offensive performance. Florida had 10 assists. By comparison, the Gators turned the ball over 14 times and committed 12 fouls. Richmond had 12 assists.

WHAT A PLAY: Prather spun, drove to the hoop, bounced off contact and hit a shot off the glass as the referee's whistle blew. In a power struggle with the Spiders throughout the second half, Prather's bucket gave the Gators a four-point lead that turned to a five-point lead after his free throw that followed. Florida would not trail again.It was part of a 12-point, seven-rebound day for Prather.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Outside of a handful of marquee games, non-conference play was never particularly difficult for the Gators. But there was no ease in a victory against the Spiders to close out the non-SEC portion of Florida's schedule. The Gators and Spiders swapped lead changes 12 times with Florida trailing as late as 4:48 remaining in the game. A run of Frazier 3-point baskets and a giant rebounding advantage (43-22, led by Dorian Finney-Smith with 12) helped the Gators escape.

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