The Florida Gators defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 67-61 at Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. The Gators improved to 7-2, and the Jayhawks fell to 6-3.
Florida let a 36-21 halftime lead slowly slip away in the second half. Jayhawk freshman guard Andrew Wiggins was the primary reason for Kansas’ comeback effort. Wiggins scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half, including 11 points in the final 2:26 of the game.
After Kansas forward Jamari Traylor made two free throws with 11 seconds left, Kansas was down 65-61. However, Gator guard Kasey Hill answered with two free throws to put Florida up 67-61, and time would expire.
Florida shot only 37% from the field, but had a fairly balanced scoring attack to counter Wiggins’ tremendous night. Senior guard Scottie Wilbekin played great after injuring his ankle in the final minutes of Florida’s last game against UConn. Wilbekin scored 18 points with six assists and four steals. Sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith netted 15 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Senior forward Casey Prather scored 12 points and grabbed eight boards. Senior center Patric Young scored 12 points with six rebounds. Freshman guard Kasey Hill returned after missing four games with an ankle injury, and scored six points with three dimes.
Andrew Wiggins finished with an unbelievable 26 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. He also showed some range hitting four of nine from beyond the arc. Freshman guard Frank Mason was the second leading scorer for the Jayhawks with nine points. Kansas’ big men were shut down on offense with freshman center Joel Embiid scoring six points, and sophomore forward Perry Ellis scoring four points. Both players combined for 10 rebounds, and helped give Kansas a 39-30 rebounding advantage. However, they will need to work the offensive side of the ball, if Kansas wishes to remain a top team.