GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Casey Prather scored a career-high 28 points, Michael Frazier II added 19 and No. 10 Florida opened the season with a 77-69 victory over North Florida on Friday.
The short-handed Gators won their 23rd consecutive opener — a much-needed tuneup before playing at 20th-ranked Wisconsin on Tuesday night.
Florida let North Florida hang around most of the afternoon, backing up coach Billy Donovan's assertion that there's no way his team should be ranked 10th.
The Osprey, who hit nine of their final 15 3-pointers, made it a seven-point game with 19.2 seconds remaining. But the Gators closed it out from the free-throw line. Florida finished 27 of 32 from the line.
Prather was the key contributor from start to finish. The senior swingman hit 10 of 15 shots and made 8 of 11 free throws. His previous career high was 14. He had 23 last week in an exhibition game against Florida Southern.