By Dory LeBlanc
Casey Prather scored 16 points Thursday night to lead the Gators to 62-51 victory over Mississippi State on the road, Florida's seventh win in SEC competition.
Patric Young, who recently was named a recipient of the 2013 Ben Hill Griffin Award for overall contributions to the Gator athletics program and Gainesville community last year, put up a respectable 12 points, eight total rebounds and blocked three shots, while sophomore Dorian Finney-Smith led the team with nine boards.
Amazingly, Prather and Young scored in the double-digits despite each missing significant time in the first half; Prather suffered an ankle injury that sent him to the locker room and Young sat after committing his second foul. However, both players turned it around in the second with the two seniors combining for Florida's first eight points.
What was cause for concern was Florida's shooting throughout the game. The Gators made only 6-of-20 three's and went 8-for-19 from the free throw line, but luckily for UF Mississippi State shot even worse. On the night, the Bulldogs went 23-of-54 on FGs (42.6-percent), only made one of six attempts from the charity line (16.7-percent), and shot 28.6-percent from behind the arch (4-for-14).
Michael Frazier II made half of the Gators' threes, scoring nine points in the contest, Kasey Hill chipped in seven points, and Finney-Smith and Scottie Wilbekin each contributed eight points in the victory.
UP NEXT: The Gators will host Texas A & M on Saturday afternoon from the O’Connell Center in Gainesville. Tip off is at 3:25pm and can be hear on 620 WDAE / 95.3 FM.