Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shorthanded Wahoos No Match For Gators

PRATHER (Doug Persinger/Getty Images)
Florida 71, VIRGINIA 45 – Casey Prather scored a career-high 14 points on a rare day Florida’s three-point shooters went cold, and still the Gators had no trouble beating the Cas Friday in the NCAA West Regional.

Virginia played the game with a six man rotation and got just three points from their bench.
Prather made 6 of 7 shots in a season-high 22 minutes, using a cool spin move to get to the basket for a baseline layup in the middle of the second half. But his best shot came late when he dunked off Erving Walker’s alley-oop pass.

Bradley Beal also had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Patric Young had 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting with three dunks.

No. 7 seed Florida (24-10) pierced Virginia’s vaunted defense—the Cavaliers were giving up just 53.7 points a game—to get to the boards for second-chance baskets. Their press also generated some easy buckets for the Gators, helping them go 24 of 30 from inside the arc.

Mike Scott had 15 points for Virginia (22-10), which was in the tournament for the first time since 2007.

SCOTT (Orlin Wagner/AP Photo)
“We came out with a lot of energy and executed on defense, got what we wanted on offense,” Scott said. “But they made their run, and they just came out in the second half very strong.”

The teams’ second all-time meeting, and first since the 1992 NIT semifinals, was billed as a clash between Virginia’s pack-line defense and Florida’s up-tempo offense.

This time, offense won.

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