Florida men’s basketball team overcomes 19-point deficit to beat Florida State; Women’s team downs Bethune-Cookman
Gators men’s team first win at Tallahassee since 2012
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - It was a busy night to be a Florida basketball fan, as both the men’s and women’s team hit the hardwood.
The men’s team were on the road in enemy territory, as Todd Golden’s crew made their first trip to Tallahassee to take on a wounded Florida State team. The Gators (3-1) were coming off an unexpected loss to in-state opponent Florida Atlantic, while the Seminoles (0-4) were trying to win their first game of the season following a winless start.
The garnet and gold came out blazing hot in the first half to prove why you throw out the record book in a rivalry game. The Seminoles made 43 points thanks to knocking down 15-31 shots, including 3-6 from the outside, and 10-11 free throws.
Meanwhile, the orange and blue struggled mightily from the perimeter. Todd Golden’s roster made just one three-pointer on 12 attempts, as the Gators only connected on eight total shots on 29 attempts. Florida went down by as many as 19 points in the first half and walked in the locker room at intermission trailing by 17.
However, the second half was all orange and blue. Florida went on a 33-5 run in the final period of regulation, en route to scoring 50 points, as the defense limited the Seminoles to just 24 points. The flipped script saw the Gators knock down 16-31 shots and 16 of 21 free throws. Colin Castleton led all scorers with 25 points, followed by Will Richard and Trey Bonham who combined for 24 points.
The second half surge gave Florida a 76-67 victory to give the Gators their first victory in Tallahassee since 2012.
Up Next for Florida: The Gators will travel to Oregon to face Xavier in the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament on Thanksgiving Day.
As for the women’s basketball team, Kelly Rae-Finley and her squad bounced back from their loss to Florida State with a nine-point victory against Bethune-Cookman, at home.
The Gators (3-1) enjoyed a hot start against the Wildcats (0-4) by making 8 of their 13 first quarter shots to build up a 9-point led, on their way to winning 82-73.
Nina Rickards led the Gators with 23 points. Rickards was one of four orange and blue players in double figures. Jordyn Merritt (14) and Ra Shaya Kyle (10) were the other two starters in double figures, while Kirsten Dean chipped in with 11 off the bench.
Florida had their A-game from the perimeter in the first and third quarters, as they made all five of their attempts, but didn’t make a single one in the second or fourth quarters.
The Gators will host Furman on Monday, Nov. 21, before hitting the road for the St. Pete Showcase on Nov. 24.
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