Casey Prather leads Gators to 64-52 win over Alabama
With Florida trailing Alabama by eight with 12:24 remaining in the game, junior guard Casey Prather helped lead the Gators to a 64-52 come from behind victory over the Tide in front of 11,624 at the O'Connell Center Saturday afternoon.
No. 8 Florida outscored Alabama 27-7 in the final 11:03. The Gators (23-5, 13-3 SEC) remained unbeaten at home this season and retained possession of first place in the SEC race.
Prather was the catalyst to the Gators’ run down the stretch.
“I thought Casey, for whatever reason, just really was focused and locked in,’’ Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
It was Prather who dished a pick-n-roll pass to Young for a dunk to start the run. He finished with 10 points and nine rebounds – and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line – the first two with the Gators down six, then two more to give the Gators a one point lead with 7:46 remaining.
“I’m pretty confident,’’ said Prather, who missed eight games this season due to injuries. “At the beginning of the season I had a couple of injuries so that was tough for me to get over. But I’m glad I’m just not injured and I’m finally able to play with the team.”
It was, Donovan said, a game in which he was filled with mixed emotions at the end.
“I told our guys after the game, I had a rash of a lot of emotions after the game,’’ Donovan said. “I was really, really, really disappointed in our team for a good portion of the game. One of the things that we’ve talked about with this group is just being resilient, and battling, and fighting, and being tough. And then, I couldn’t have been more proud of them fighting through being down by eight. Our guys battled and fought, and found a way to get a lead and keep the lead. But give Alabama credit. I thought they came in really focused and ready to play.”
Watch Prather during a postgame interview: