Florida beat Kansas a week ago thanks to turnovers. Florida beat Memphis tonight in spite of turnovers.
In the second and final game of the Jimmy V Classic hosted in Madison Square Garden, the #16 Gators (8-2) turned over the ball a season-high 18 times but still managed to top #15 Memphis (7-2) 77-75. With 10.8 seconds remaining in the game, it looked like the Tigers could somehow pull out a win, and attempted what would have been the game-tying layup. Luckily, the Gators tipped the ball and knocked it out toward half-court to seal the victory, their second over a ranked opponent.
Senior forward Casey Prather led Florida with 22 points and a block, while redshirt sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith came off the bench to total 14 points and eight rebounds.
Florida led by as many as 12 points in the middle of the first half, but Memphis kept the game close in the second half due to Gator turnovers. Prather helped to keep the Gators in it toward the end, with eight of his points coming in the final 2:42. He was perfect in his six free throws and made two with 27.2 seconds remaining to give Florida a four-point lead. That would prove to be crucial when Memphis sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin made both his free throws off a Patric Young foul with 19 seconds left and Florida senior guard Scottie Wilbekin missed his one and one.
Florida will face Fresno State (6-5) in their final game before Christmas. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 in Sunrise, Fla.