Prather-less Gators edge Razorbacks in OTJan 11, 2014 - 11:24 PM Fayetteville, AR (SportsNetwork.com) - Scottie Wilbekin's game-tying bucket with two seconds left forced overtime and Florida flourished in the extra session, as the Gators ended Arkansas' 23-game home win streak with an 84-82 triumph on Saturday at Bud Walton Arena.
Playing without leading scorer Casey Prather due to a knee injury, the 10th- ranked Gators trailed 66-64 with Arkansas forward Alandise Harris at the free throw line with 17.1 ticks left in regulation following a travel on Kasey Hill.
After Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one, Wilbekin dribbled on the right wing and drove to the block before rising up and banking a shot off the backboard to tie the tilt with two seconds left in regulation.
Patric Young opened overtime with a jumper before Wilbekin forced a steal on Arkansas' next trip and drilled a 3-pointer at the other end to give Florida a five-point lead.
The margin reached eight following six straight points from Dorian Finney- Smith, but Arkansas answered with a 6-1 swing to get back within three with 42 seconds left.
However, Wilbekin went 6-of-8 from the charity stripe over the final 36 seconds, allowing the short-handed Gators to hang on for the victory.
Finney-Smith finished with a game-high 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Wilbekin, who came off the bench because of a sprained right ankle, netted 18 points for Florida (13-2, 2-0 SEC), which has won seven straight games.
"It means a lot to us," Finney-Smith said of earning the win without Prather. "It tells you about our team. We play for each other. Any given night, it can be someone's night and tonight it was just me."
Rashad Madden led Arkansas (11-4, 0-2 SEC) with 23 points, while Coty Clarke contributed 16 points and 14 boards for the Razorbacks, who dropped a 69-53 decision to Texas A&M in their conference opener.
"We played in front of great fans and we felt like we let them down a little bit," Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "It wasn't from a lack of effort though. We had our opportunities, whether it be at the free throw line, getting turnovers or key stops."
Harris scored six of his 11 points in overtime, including a dunk with 24 seconds remaining that brought the Razorbacks within 82-79.
Wilbekin then missed two free throws to leave the door open, but Harris misfired on a jumper and Wilbekin buried a pair from the stripe to all but end Arkansas' upset bid.
With the score locked at 55-55 and just under eight minutes left in regulation, Madden drained a 3-pointer during a 9-2 Arkansas swing that gave the Razorbacks a seven-point lead with 4:43 on the clock.
The Gators responded by scoring the next seven points, including Michael Frazier's right wing triple that tied the tilt with 1:53 left in regulation.
However, Madden made a tough bank shot at the other end to give Arkansas a 66-64 edge.
A tightly-contested first half found the teams locked at 25 before Clarke drilled a triple to spark a 7-0 Arkansas surge, but an 8-0 Florida flurry shortly after gave the Gators a 35-34 lead late in the half.
Michael Qualls' layup just before the break sent Arkansas into halftime with a slim one-point lead.
Prather is averaging 17.0 points and leads the SEC in shooting at 62.4 percent ... Florida improved to 5-8 all-time on the road against the Razorbacks ... Arkansas shot 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from 3-point range ... Bobby Portis supplied 14 points and seven boards for Arkansas ... Frazier finished with 15 points, while Young scored 10 with seven rebounds.
- FLORIDA: 84
Final - OT
Jan 11 3:30 PM
- FLORIDA: 84
End of OT
Jan 11 3:29 PM
- FLORIDA: 66
End of Regulation
Jan 11 3:09 PM
- FLORIDA: 35
Jan 11 1:55 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 11 1:08 PM
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