Gator men’s basketball team falls to Kentucky, 72-67

Colin Castleton with a team high 25 points
Kentucky's Cason Wallace, right, looks for an opening on Florida's Kyle Lofton (11) during the...
Kentucky's Cason Wallace, right, looks for an opening on Florida's Kyle Lofton (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/James Crisp)(James Crisp | AP)
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 12:05 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, KY. (WCJB) - Florida was coming off their best win of the season vs No. 2 Tennessee as they hit the road against Kentucky on Saturday night. However, a low scoring first half came back to haunt the (13-10) Gators as the (16-7) Wildcats win 72-67. Florida has not won in Lexington, KY since February 2021.

The Gators never lead during the evening. Florida found themselves down by 10-plus points multiple times. In the first half, the offense sputtered as Kentucky took a 20-9 lead. The Gators went on a 13-6 run and cut it to 26-22. Wildcats would increase their lead to 11 with a 33-22 lead at halftime.

Florida had another strong second half scoring 45 points, but they could not rattle the Wildcats offense. Colin Castleton had a terrific night with 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. One thing that Florida did well was shut down Kentucky’s superstar, Oscar Tshiebwe. He was 2-14 from the field and finished the night with four points. Castleton said, “Just be aggressive as possible. Just limit the close catches to the basket and around the rim. He’s super effective around the rim and is a strong guy, and is one of the most active players in the country. Being able to use my length was the biggest thing.”

Tshiebwe defensively was tough to handle where he had 15 rebounds (including 8 on defense). Head coach Todd Golden said, “We didn’t do a good enough job on the glass with him, he got seven offensive rebounds, and that’s what he does. I thought we did a great job collectively limiting his opportunities. For him to go 2-for-14 without doubling, I thought Colin had a great game defensively.”

The Gators are 13-10 on the season and will travel to Tuscaloosa, AL to take on No. 4 Alabama. Tip/off is at 9:00pm on Wednesday evening.

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