Mike White, men’s basketball remain winless in SEC

Florida now 0-2 in conference play
Auburn forward Walker Kessler (13) dunks the ball over Florida guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr....
Auburn forward Walker Kessler (13) dunks the ball over Florida guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)
Published: Jan. 9, 2022 at 12:36 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - After letting Alabama walk out of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center with a lopsided victory Wednesday night, Florida Men’s Basketball hit the road to take on no. 9 Auburn in search of an upset to secure the team’s first win in conference play.

That search turned up empty.

The Gators (9-5) allowed four Tigers (14-1) to record double-digit point totals and lost their second consecutive game in Southeastern Conference play, 85-73.

Florida trailed by 13 at intermission, but turned that deficit into a two-point game midway through the second half. Colin Castleton, who only scored five points in the first half, arose from his slumber in the second and finished with a team-high 22 points.

Castleton was joined by Anthony Duruji (14), Myreon Jones (13), and Tyree Appleby (11), as the other starters to record double-figures, but while their efforts were appreciated, Florida only mustered a grand total of nine bench points.

Meanwhile, 35 of Auburn’s 85 total points came from off the bench, which was the biggest deciding factor in the contest.

Another contributing part of the Gators loss was the lack of defense. While the orange and blue forced 16 turnovers, compared to their 12, the Tigers were able to shoot 53 percent from the floor, as a team. They made exactly 50 percent of their looks in the first half, then followed that up by knocking down 16-28 shots in the second.

The loss keeps Florida winless in conference play through two games this season.

The Gators next chance to win their first SEC game will come against no. 21 LSU on Wednesday, January 12, at 7 p.m. at home.

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