Gators rally past Bulldogs, 80-72, win without leading scorer

Mike White said after the game he believes Colin Castleton’s shoulder injury to be significant
Florida moves to 2-3 in SEC, 11-6 overall
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 9:59 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Playing without injured starting center Colin Castleton, the Florida Gator men’s basketball team staged an inspired second half rally, defeating visiting Mississippi State, 80-72 on Wednesday night at the O’Connell Center.

Anthony Duruji scored 18 of his 22 points after the break and the Gators closed with a 23-8 run in the final 7:20 to reach 2-3 in the SEC, 11-6 overall. The Bulldogs came in having won six of their last seven and lost despite shooting 54 percent from the field.

Florida overcame MSU’s shooting by generating 24 points off turnovers and 24 points from bench players, including 17 from Tyree Appleby (4-for-9 from three-point range). Freshman Kowacie Reeves equaled his career-high for the second straight game with 14 points, and Phlandrous Fleming contributed 10 to round out Florida’s scorers in double figures.

Castleton, who leads the team in scoring (15.4 per game), rebounding (9.1), and blocks (2.8 ), suffered a left shoulder injury during practice on Tuesday. Florida head coach Mike White said after the game he believes the injury to be significant.

Florida remains at home to face Vanderbilt on Saturday. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. at the O’Connell Center.

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