Gators get back to work against Blazers

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Nassau, Bahamas (SportsNetwork.com) - In the consolation side of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament bracket, the UAB Blazers and the 18th-ranked Florida Gators will do battle at Imperial Arena on Thursday night.

The winner advances to Friday's fifth-place game to take on the survivor of the North Carolina/UCLA matchup. The losers will play in the seventh-place game.

UAB was outmatched in quarterfinal-round action on Wednesday, as it was handed a 72-43 loss at the hands of No. 2 Wisconsin. The setback dropped the Blazers to 2-3 on the season.

Florida was one of three nationally-ranked teams to lose in the quarterfinals of an upside-down tournament. The Gators fought back and forth with Georgetown into overtime only to fall on the wrong end of a 66-65 decision following a game-winning bucket by the Hoyas in the waning seconds. The Gators already lost this season at home to Miami-Florida (69-67) and will likely be dropped from the next Top-25 poll.

The Gators have a 2-1 advantage over the Blazers in the all-time series, which includes a win in the most recent contest in January of 2012, 79-61.

After falling behind Wisconsin by 10 less than 10 minutes into their quarterfinal-round contest, the Blazers failed to get within single digits of the lead for the rest of the game en route to the 29-point loss. They shot just 35.3 percent from the field, had an infrequent and inefficient night at the foul line (3-of-8) and committed a game-high 19 turnovers. The only player to finish in double figures in the lackluster effort was Robert Brown, who turned in 16 points on 7-of-15 from the field.

UAB's struggles from the field have been prevalent all season long, as it shoots less than 40 percent from the floor on its way to just 66.2 ppg while falling in the red in terms of its rebounding margin (-4.0). Brown only shoot 35.6 percent from the field this season but generates enough volume to score a team-best 11.2 ppg. Tyler Madison (10.8 ppg) and C.J. Washington (9.6 ppg) are also integral pieces.

In a game that consisted of 21 ties and 10 lead changes, Florida grabbed hold of a one-point advantage with just 12 seconds remaining in the overtime period when Kasey Hill converted a three-point play, but on the other end of the floor it allowed Georgetown to sink the game-winning shot with four seconds left as it suffered the heartbreaking loss. The outcome might not have needed to be so close if UF didn't put together an awful field goal shooting night (.359) while committing 16 turnovers. Dorian Finney-Smith provided a spark off the bench with 16 points. Jon Horford tallied a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Michael Frazier chipped in 12 points but on just 4- of-11 from the field.

The Gators' bread and butter this season has been their outstanding play on the defensive end of the floor, as they allow just 59.0 ppg on less than 40 percent field goal shooting, but they are barely able to support that on the other end of the floor with just 65.2 ppg themselves. Finney-Smith (15.8 ppg) and Frazier (15.0 ppg) are neck-and-neck for the scoring lead, while Horford (11.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Eli Carter (11.7 ppg) are also off to strong starts.