Gators return to form with dominant win against Ospreys

Castleton tallies career-high with 26 points
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 11:05 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Two days after losing by 15 points at home to a winless Texas Southern squad, Florida’s Men’s Basketball team took out their frustration on in-state opponent North Florida.

The no. 20 ranked Gators (7-2) forced 28 Osprey (2-9) turnovers that turned into 33 points on their way to winning 85-55 at the O’Connell Center.

Colin Castleton turned in a career-high 26 points to lead Florida to its seventh victory on the season. The senior forward shot 9-17 from the floor and went 8-11 from the foul line. His 72 percent clip from the charity stripe on Wednesday was a marked improvement from his season average of 57 percent.

Castleton wasn’t the only Florida starter to score in double figures. Myreon Jones rattled off 14 points of his own. He was 5-9 from the field and a perfect 4-4 shooting free throws. Tyree Appleby was the only other Gator player to score double digits. He chipped in 13 points off the bench on 3-3 shooting, including just one three-pointer, and went 6-8 at the foul line.

Of the 28 turnovers the orange and blue forced, 21 of them were steals. That’s the most steals in a game for Florida since the 1999-2000 season. All five Gators starters had two steals apiece, while Appleby led the team with four.

The other eye-popping stat that favored Florida was points in the paint - the Gators outscored the Ospreys 48-26 inside. Castleton scored the majority of his game-high 26 points on layups and dunks.

The only downside to Wednesday’s victory was the poor three-point shooting from the orange and blue. The team connected on just 5-23 attempts for a success rate of 21 percent. Aside from that category, Florida shot 45 percent for the game and regained momentum heading into its showdown with Big 10 foe, Maryland in the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 12 in Brooklyn, NY.

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