by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
The guard-heavy Gators looked to their big man on Wednesday night as Patric Young’s career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds helped No. 12 Florida get past Arizona, 78-72, in overtime.
The Wildcats had no answer for Young as he hit 12-of-15 shots from the field. It was exactly what the Gators were looking for from Young after he scored just 6 points against Syracuse in the the team’s loss last Friday.
But even with Young’s big day, Arizona was still almost able to steal the game. Florida went up 66-63 with 8.2 seconds left in regulation after Erving Walker sank two free throws. Billy Donovan then appeared to instruct his team to foul before Arizona could shoot a 3-pointer. However, with 3.9 seconds remaining, Casey Prather fouled Solomon Hill in the act of shooting from beyond the arc, and Hill sent the game to overtime by hitting all three of his free throws.
Overtime, though, still belonged to the Gators, and Florida finally locked down a non-conference win against a quality opponent.
“It’s huge,” Young said of the way the Gators pulled out the win. “It answered a lot of questions about our team. When guys aren’t having good nights (shooting), are they still helping the team in the winning process collectively? And they did.”
With Young’s 25 points, what makes this team so dangerous was on full display — its high-powered offense. Five Gators are averaging double-figures in scoring, and the team as a whole is fourth in the country at 86.4 ppg.