Gators Men’s Basketball bounced from NCAA Tournament by Oral Roberts in second round
Florida knocked out of March Madness on opening weekend for third straight year
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The No. 7-seed Florida Gators had an 11 point lead with 16:35 remaining in regulation against No. 15-seed Oral Roberts, but the orange and blue couldn’t hold their advantage, and wound up losing 81-78.
The Gators (15-10) came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. Tre Mann, Noah Locke, and Tyree Appleby all seemed to hit shot after shot to push Florida out to a 42-37 halftime lead.
Within the first 4 minutes of the second half, Mann had scored 8 points by knocking down a pair of three pointers and a jumper, as Florida swelled to its biggest lead of the game, 54-43. He led Florida with 19 points.
Locke, Appleby, and Colin Castleton also finished in double figures. The only real downfall for Florida was their season-long kryptonite rearing its ugly head: turnovers.
The Gators turned the ball over 20 times against the Golden Eagles, who gladly converted those opportunities into 23 points - more than a quarter of their total team points came courtesy of Florida’s carelessness with the ball.
As expected, Oral Roberts comeback was led by Kevin Obanor, and NCAA leading scorer, Max Abmas, who combined for 54 points. Abmas was a perfect 12-12 from the free thrown line, as well.
With another early exit, Florida has now been knocked out on opening weekend three years running.
This team has displayed moments of incredible ability and fight, but ultimately it was there inability to close out games with big leads that was there undoing.
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