Frazier helps No. 8 Florida beat ULM 61-56 in OT
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Michael Frazier II scored 16 of his 21 points after halftime, and No. 8 Florida rallied to beat Louisiana-Monroe 61-56 in overtime Friday night.
Four days after losing a school-record, 33-game winning streak at home, the short-handed Gators started a new one.
Getting it done wasn't easy or pretty.
Florida (2-1) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and squandered an eight-point lead in the final 2:31 of regulation before prevailing in OT.
Frazier was the key, playing the best defense of his career and constantly creating on the other end. He was 4-of-11 shooting from the field, including 2 of 6 from 3-point range, but made 11 of 13 free throws and had eight rebounds.
Tylor Ongwae led Louisiana-Monroe (2-1) with 19 points. Nick Coppola added 11 points, including a 3-pointer with 16.6 seconds remaining that forced overtime.
Frazier had a chance to win it in regulation, but lost the ball out of bounds with 1.5 seconds to go. He also seemed to tweak an ankle on the play.
But he returned in the extra frame and helped Florida pull it out.
The Gators needed him, too. They played without two starters - and their top two scorers - because of injuries and were down to six scholarships players.
Forward Dorian Finney-Smith, the team's leading scorer, missed his second consecutive game with hairline fractures in the index and middle fingers on his left hand. Guard Eli Carter missed the game after spraining his left foot in practice Thursday. He was wearing a walking boot on the bench.
Florida was so short-handed that coach Billy Donovan had two walk-ons on the floor in OT.
Walk-on Jacob Kurtz finished with 13 rebounds and three assists - both team highs.
Florida trailed early, but used a 15-0 run over a 7-plus minute stretch in the second half to build a somewhat comfortable cushion against the Warhawks.
Freshman point guard Chris Chiozza outplayed starter Kasey Hill and was on the floor down the stretch. Hill finished with eight points on 2-of-12 shooting. Chiozza had 11 points.
Highly touted forward Chris Walker made his season debut after being suspended for the first two games of the season. He ended up with four points on 2-of-5 shooting and had six boards.
Louisiana-Monroe: The Warhawks had been looking for their first 3-0 start since 1987. ... ULM's last win vs. a top-10 team remains a victory against ninth-ranked Arkansas on Dec. 30, 1991.
Florida: The Gators improved to 8-1 against teams from the Sun Belt Conference during Donovan's 19-year tenure. ... The 6-foot-6 Kurtz has seven, eight and 13 rebounds in three games this season, clearly a guy who knows his role.
Louisiana-Monroe plays Coastal Carolina on Wednesday in the secondary bracket of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.
Florida plays Georgetown on Wednesday in the first of three games in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.