Patric Young scored a career-high 25 points, Erving Walker made some huge free throws down the stretch, and No. 12 Florida rallied to beat Arizona 78-72 in overtime Wednesday night.
Walker finished with 14 points, including seven in the extra frame. He overcame a poor shooting night from the field (3 of 16) and a miserable performance from 3-point range (1 of 9).
The Gators (6-2) extended their home-winning streak to 11 and won their first resume-building game of the season. They previously lost at Ohio State and Syracuse.
Florida won despite maybe the worst free-throw shooting performance in coach Billy Donovan's 16 seasons. The Gators were 15 of 32 from the charity stripe.
Jesse Perry led the Wildcats (6-3) with 23 points and seven rebounds. Kyle Fogg added 19 points before fouling out in overtime. Nick Johnson and Solomon Hill also fouled out for Arizona.
The Gators trailed 57-50 with about 7 minutes remaining, but got some key shots from Walker, Bradley Beal and Kenny Boynton to tie the game at 61.
Walker missed a 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds left, but Young grabbed the rebound, split two defenders and bounced it off the backboard to put Florida ahead 64-63. Johnson turned the ball over on the other end, and the Gators looked to be in great shape when Walker hit two free throws with 8.2 seconds to go.
But Antinio Petty whistled Casey Prather for a questionable shooting foul, awarding three shots to Hill. Donovan screamed, “No way” after the call. Hill drained all of three shots to tie the game at 66.
Walker missed a 3 at the end of regulation, but he made up for it in overtime.
Will Yeguete came up big, too. He had seven points, eight rebounds, four steals and several defensive stops down the stretch.
The Gators needed every bit of help because Walker and Boynton struggled all night. Boynton was 2 of 11 from the floor, including 1 of 6 from behind the arc.
Florida finished 7 of 26 from 3-point range, not a whole lot worse than the team was from the free-throw line.
Forward Erik Murphy returned after missing three consecutive games with a knee injury, came off the bench and finished with three points and five rebounds.
Arizona played without freshman guard Josiah Turner, who was suspended Tuesday for violating team policy. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the discipline revolved around Turner's participation in practices. The newspaper also reported that Turner was taken out of the starting lineup before the Nov. 9 game against Duquesne after he was late to the pregame shootaround.
The Wildcats had 10 turnovers midway through the first half, but managed to take the lead at the break — mostly because of Florida's free-throw shooting. The Gators missed 12 of their first 14 from the stripe.