Jan 10, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Mike White talks with guard Mike Okauru (0) during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Inconsistent In 78-72 Loss To Ole Miss

The Florida Gators’ six-game win streak was ended by the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford on Saturday afternoon in a 78-72 loss. Keith Stone added a career-high 23 points and 8 rebounds on 13-18 shooting at the free throw line. Egor Koulechov recorded his third double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Florida had no answer for Ole Miss on the inside, getting outscored in the paint, 32-22, and outrebounded 44-35. UF gave up 10 offensive rebounds. While the Rebels were successful in transition, scoring 15 points off of 10 Gator turnovers, Florida didn’t have the same luck. The Gators forced 11 turnovers, but only scored 5 points off of those giveaways. On top of that, UF missed 8 of their 14 attempted layups.

Final Five Thoughts

  • Florida’s Second Half Defensive Meltdown
    • The Gators allowed the Rebels to shoot 60% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc in the second half of Saturday’s game. Kevarrius Hayes could not stop Bruce Stevens in the paint, who finished with 22 points and 6 rebounds in only 25 minutes played. Florida had no business losing this game, but they simply couldn’t get a stop in the final twenty minutes.
  •  Lost In Transition
    • It is well known that the Gators’ best offense comes in transition. As discussed before, Florida went 6-14 on layup attempts on Saturday, constantly missing easy chance after easy chance at the rim. Despite forcing one more turnover than the Rebels, the Gators scored 10 less points off of giveaways. It’s hard to win conference games on the road when you miss the easy opportunities.
  •  Gators Killed On Offensive Boards
    • Florida gave up 10 offensive rebounds against Ole Miss, allowing the Rebels to constantly reset their offense and fire away. When Gak went down with a concussion, Kevarrius Hayes had a tough time handling defensive paint duties by himself.
  •  Help Off The Bench
    • One of the few positives of Saturday’s tilt was the Gators’ bench play. Michael Okauru added 9 points off the bench as Florida’s reserves outscored Ole Miss’, 22-14. Mike White is now down to 6 practice-ready scholarship players with Gorjok Gak diagnosed with a concussion after the game. Florida will need that spark off of the bench in upcoming games until Egbunu, Stokes, Johnson, Gak and Ballard return.
  • Keith Stone and Egor Koulechov Provide A Bright Spot
    • Despite the loss, Koulechov and Stone combined for 34 points and 19 rebounds on Saturday afternoon. In the past five games, Koulechov has recorded 90 points and 39 rebounds. In the past four games, Stone has notched 64 points and 27 rebounds. Stone’s improved play has been the biggest surprise of Florida’s most recent games.

Coming Up

Florida return home to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks at the O’Connell Center on Wednesday, January 17 at 7 p.m. The Razorbacks are 0-3 in road games this season and have lost their last three games to Auburn, Mississippi State and LSU.

About Jake Winderman

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