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Gators Gut Out OT Victory at Arkansas

Safe to say Scottie Wilbekin has much less of Billy Donovan's ire now.

A few days after injuring his ankle on a play that Donovan frowned upon, Wilbekin forced overtime with a late bankshot, then hit a big 3 in the OT as Florida won 84-82 at Arkansas.

The 10th-ranked Gators ended Arkansas' home winning streak at 23, which was the nation's third longest active streak. The Razorbacks did not lose at home all last season.

Dorian Finney-Smith, whose 3 made it a six-point lead in overtime, scored 22 points while Wilbekin finished with 18 and Michael Frazier 15 for Florida (13-2). Finney-Smith had 15 rebounds.

The Gators won without the injured Casey Prather.

Florida was down six with less than five minutes to play and caught a break when with four minutes left Cory Clarke missed an uncontested dunk after an offensive rebound. That kept it 64-59 and two minutes later Frazier tied the score with a 3-pointer.

Arkansas went back up 66-64 with 1:37 left on a jumper by Rashad Madden, who had 23 points including 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Then Frazier missed a go-ahead 3 and the teams exchanged failed possessions before Florida got fortunate again. Alandise Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one with :18 to play and Wilbekin worked the clock down, pulling up from 10 feet for the tying shot with two seconds left in regulation.

His 3 early in the OT made it 71-66 and the Gators would lead by as many as eight. But thanks to three missed free throws Arkansas had the chance with the ball down 82-79, only to try an ill-advised two-point jumper with :10 left. It missed and Wilbekin converted the free throws. Arkansas threw in a 3 at the buzzer.

The Gators won despite giving up an alarming 20 offensive rebounds to Arkansas and turning it over 17 times.

The game aired on WDAE.


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