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AUBURN, Ala. -- Billy Donovan cautioned his Florida Gators before the game not to assume Casey Prather would instantly return to form after a two-game layoff. Prather scored 16 of his 21 points in the first half in his comeback from a badly bruised right knee and helped No. 7 Florida survive a scare from Auburn in a 68-61 victory on Saturday. Donovans warning proved unnecessary. "That rule went out the window after the first half, when he had 16," the coach said. "He was clearly going to play a lot more since he played so well. "Im not so sure if hes hurt again this game, that this is a game we could pull out." Prather made eight of 10 shots for the Gators (15-2, 4-0 Southeastern Conference), who have won nine straight games and eight in a row at Auburn (8-7, 0-4). Donovan said Prather looked just OK in practice Thursday with no contact, but fared better the day before the game. "He was like, When you come back to practice, are you going to baby it or are you going to play?" Prather said. "I said I was going to play." Tahj Shamsid-Deen hit a jump shot with 1:59 left to cut Floridas lead to 62-61, but Scottie Wilbekin answered with a fadeaway jumper. "We didnt really have anything going on that possession," Wilbeken said. "My first drive, I didnt have anything so I tried to give it to Casey Prather coming around behind me. His man denied him, so I had to make another move and I just made it." Wilbekin, who scored 16 points, made two of four free throws over the final 48 seconds. Patric Young blocked KT Harrells attempt to bring Auburn to within two points in between those trips to the line. Kasey Hill made two late free throws for the final margin. Young scored 13 for Florida, which outrebounded Auburn 31-23. Chris Denson, the SECs leading scorer, had 15 of his 21 points in the second half to help keep the Tigers close. Harrell added 18 points and made 4 of 7 3-pointers. Allen Payne finished with 11 points. "They made the plays down the stretch and we didnt," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. Auburn has lost its first four SEC games by a combined 23 points. The Tigers have dropped their last 14 against league teams overall. The Gators, who lost a 13-point lead in the first half, made 21 of 39 shots (53.8 per cent). Florida made 23 of 33 free throws while Auburn was 14 of 22. The Tigers point guards, Shamsid-Deen and Malcolm Canada, both fouled out. Prather got right into his offensive rhythm after the layoff. He came in with 16:58 remaining, hit two quick jump shots and made his first five attempts, including a fast-break dunk off a nice bounce pass from Hill. The Gators reeled off a 14-1 run for a 23-10 lead while the Tigers missed their first 10 attempts from inside the 3-point line. Walk-on Alex Thompson finally scored on a putback 13 minutes into the game for Auburns first basket since making a third consecutive 3-pointer with 14:28 left in the half. Auburn hit all five of its 3-point attempts in the first half and finished 7 of 13. Despite Prathers surge, the Gators barely led at halftime. Wilbekin made two free throws with 3 seconds left to give Florida a 33-32 halftime lead. Auburn had scored 14 consecutive points to briefly take the lead. "Florida has the best defence I have ever seen," said Denson, adding that the Gators altered a number of shots. "I was the one in the first half that missed a lot of layups, but I think it was a little bit of nerves. Playing the No. 7 team in the country, and I was just anxious. We got the nerves out and then started getting in the grooves offensively." Florida pushed the lead as high as 48-40 in the first seven minutes after the half, but couldnt pull away. Auburn announced before tipoff that reserve guard Chris Griffin has left school and is transferring. Griffin averaged 5.7 points in seven games as a junior before he was indefinitely suspended for violating school policy on Jan. 11. Custom Dallas Stars Jerseys . The biggest collapse in franchise history was a long time ago, and he was too busy trying to make sure it didnt happen again. Dino Ciccarelli Jersey .m. ET, CBSOPENING LINE — Packers by 3RECORD VS. SPREAD — New England 7-4, Green Bay 5-5-1SERIES RECORD — Tied 5-5. http://www.thedallasstarshockey.com/esa ... ey-jersey/. It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Johnny Oduya Jersey . Their 9-19 record remains identical to the crosstown rivals in Brooklyn and trails both Toronto and Boston in the Atlantic Division. Raymond Felton, their declining point guard, is back on the sideline nursing his third injury of the season. Gemel Smith Jersey .com) - The 2014 Holiday Bowl is the first postseason venture pitting a pair of ranked foes against each other, as No.PHILADELPHIA -- Josh Hart has a saying at every Villanova practice, the kind that keeps his unbeaten team focused on the big picture of a potential championship season. We need to create habits that are going to make us successful in April, the sophomore guard tells the Wildcats. April? The only two games played in April are the ones that decide the national championship. The Wildcats have grandiose ambitions and closed out their latest win with a ferocious 6-minute stretch that showed why they are legitimate NCAA championship contenders. JayVaughn Pinkston had 25 points and 10 rebounds and Darrun Hilliard scored 23 points, keeping No. 7 Villanova undefeated with an 82-77 overtime win over Syracuse on Saturday. The Wildcats (11-0) never led until overtime and rallied from a 15-point hole to beat their former Big East rival. Hart hit a 3-pointer and Pinkston tied the score 69-all with 4.2 seconds left in regulation on a basket off a turnover. Hilliards two free throws 57 seconds into OT gave Villanova its first lead of the game 71-69. He was kicked in the face during a scrum and was on the bench when Daniel Ochefu made two free throws that pushed the lead to 74-71. Hilliard was tested for a concussion and not allowed back in the game. Pinkston scored a late bucket, then added a monster block that preserved the lead with 15 seconds left. Hart added 21 points in the most gutty win of the season for the Wildcats. Wed like to come in and win by 15, 20 every game, but its not going to happen, Hart said. We need these kind of games to prepare us for conference, prepare us for April. Rakeem Christmas and Michael Gbinije each scored 18 points for Syracuse (6-4). The Orange never trailed in regulation and the Wildcats could only get as close as one point late in the second half. Pinkstons three-point play with 1:14 left cut the lead to 63-62. Christmas followed with a three-point play off a goaltending call that stretched the lead to four and had the Orange in position to play spoiler for the second straight season -- Villanova was 11-0 last season when it lost at Syracuse. But Pinkston and Hilliard did enough down the stretch against an Orange team that was in foul trouble all game. The Orange had seven players with at least three fouls and three fouled out. The Wildcats were 26 of 32 from the free-throw line; Syracuse 13 of 18. Pinkston wwas clutch in the final minutes of regulation/OT, just as he was in a win last month against Michigan when he had the go-ahead basket and game-saving block in the final minute of a 60-55 victory.dddddddddddd. The Orange scored with ease in the first half against a Wildcats defence that failed to make any consistent stops. Gbinije and Trevor Cooney hit consecutive 3s for an 11-point lead. The Wildcats scored six points in 37 seconds to make it a 10-point game, but it was just a blip in an otherwise dismal half. We didnt come into the game with the focus that we should have, coach Jay Wright said. But, over a season, thats going to happen some games. Cooney, who scored 17 points, steadied the Orange with his third 3-pointer of the first half and helped them earn a 43-31 halftime lead. Syracuse just got by Louisiana Tech 71-69 on Sunday, leaving coach Jim Boeheim wondering about his team. While the Wildcats have their aim on March Madness, Boeheim refused to think about the NCAA tournament. Im not worried about that, he said. Im not even thinking about that. Im thinking about playing Colgate. March is a long ways away. TIP-INS Syracuse: Christmas is a Philly native and played for Academy of the New Church. ... The Orange have four nonconference losses for just the second time in Boeheims tenure, and hes in his 39th season. ... Kaleb Joseph had 10 points and 10 assists in 45 minutes. Villanova: The Wildcats trailed at halftime for the third time this season. They had not allowed more than 30 points in the first half this season. ... Hart left the game in the first half with a bloody nose and returned wearing a nameless No. 44 jersey instead of No. 3. He had gauze stuffed inside his nostrils. He made all three shots in the first half and scored 11 points. ... Villanova missed 7 of 8 3s in the first half. RIVALY RENEWED Syracuse and Villanova continued their home-and-home rivalry even though the Orange have played the last two seasons in the ACC. Always one of the hottest basketball tickets in town, 18,369 fans packed the Wells Fargo Center. The teams arent scheduled to play each other next season, though the possibility still remains of a matchup down the road. When Villanova plays someone else here, theyre not going to get 18,000, Boeheim said. UP NEXT Syracuse hosts Colgate on Monday. 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