Prather with 27 in Gator win over Little Rock
Casey Prather
Casey Prather

Posted Nov 16, 2013


Casey Prather scored 27 points and Dorian Finney-Smith showed great versatility in his Florida debut, helping the 11th-ranked Gators shake loose from Arkansas-Little Rock for an 86-56 win Saturday.

The Gators stepped up the pressure after the break, and it paid off in a big way. The Trojans (0-2) couldn't match the pace and had key turnovers that enabled Florida to turn the game into a rout.

Will Neighbour was a lone bright spot for Arkansas-Little Rock with 21 points and eight rebounds.

Florida was a better team with Finney-Smith on the floor. The 6-foot-8 Virginia Tech transfer sat out the opening two games for breaking team rules, and he wasn't expected to play Saturday because of an illness. Florida cleared him, and he lived up to the expectations for at least one game.

Finney-Smith had 17 points and nine rebounds while showing off his well-rounded game. He was 3 for 4 from 3-point range.

Kasey Hill had 14 points and six assists and was a key player in the Gators' big run. He started the outburst with a driving layup, and after Prather's putback for a 56-43 lead, Hill stole the inbounds pass and scored.

Patric Young added 10 points and eight rebounds for Florida, which was coming off a loss to No. 20 Wisconsin on Wednesday.

James White had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Trojans, who shot 36 percent from the field and had 18 turnovers.

Florida wound up shooting 52 percent, an amazing turnaround from the first half. The Trojans shot only 38 percent from the field and had nine turnovers in the early going. And the game was tied at the break, mainly because the Gators were just as bad.

Despite having seven steals and numerous chances on transition, Florida's only points from outside came on a Finney-Smith 3-pointer. That gave the Gators a 20-14 lead, but right when they looked as if they were ready to pull away, Neighbour kept the Trojans right there. The 6-10 senior from England scored on three straight possessions — a jumper, a 3-pointer and a three-point play on a driving layup along the baseline.

Neighbour scored on another 3 with 18 seconds left, and the Gators tied it on Hill's off-balance jumper just before half.



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