Florida trailed Louisiana-Monroe by 12 on Friday night. The Gators trailed at halftime despite a 10-0 run into the locker room. They coughed up an eight-point lead in the second half by allowing two stunning threes in the final minute.
And in overtime, Florida won.
It was a hideous win, this 61-56 "triumph" over a team closer to the bottom of Division I than its top 100, at least according to KenPom, and Florida shooting 32.7 percent from the field — without Eli Carter and Dorian Finney-Smith, in fairness — was only the start of it.
Monroe made nine of 25 threes, and it could've been more than that, had the Warhawks not spent much of the second half clanging away. Kasey Hill was a woeful 2-for-12 with five turnovers against two assists. Michael Frazier II had 21 points, but his 11 points from free throws were more than the Gators got from any player's shots from the field.
And Jacob Kurtz, whose sensational night featured six points and a career-high 13 rebounds, had as many boards as Jon Horford, Devin Robinson, and Chris Walker combined, and as many points as Robinson and Walker (whose season debut produced four points on five shots) did combined. Kurtz is a cromulent player, as good a true walk-on as there's ever been in Billy Donovan's program, and this was his finest night as a Gator by far ... but he still shouldn't be showing up his taller, more talented teammates, especially on the glass.
Florida has a lot to fix heading into its trio of games in next week's Battle 4 Atlantis, and getting Carter and Finney-Smith back might fix some of them substantially. But we don't know how hurt those players truly are (Carter's injury may be quite serious), and Frazier appeared to turn his ankle late in this game, so health will remain a question mark in the near future.
On this night, though, Florida got a win. Ugly as it was, it's much better than a loss.