Florida forward Colin Castleton (12) celebrates after making a shot against Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Gators Men’s Hoops Surge Back For Win Over FSU

Florida Gator men’s basketball (3-1) surged back in the second half to take down the Florida State Seminoles (0-4) 76-67 on Friday night in Tallahassee. This is their second win in a row over the Seminoles and the first for Todd Golden as the Gator’s head coach. Additionally, this is the first time the Gators have won in Tallahassee since 2012.

Colin Castleton Steals The Spotlight

The entire first half was one to forget for any player on the Gator roster. They could not find any offense and defensively they struggled to get stops. Colin Castleton, the star big man for Florida, only tallied six total points in the first half.

However, Castleton would flip the switch in the second half. He ended the night with 25 points and nine rebounds. And of these 25 points, 19 of them came in the second half. The Seminoles could not find an answer for him throughout the second half. He also added a block on the night for the Gators.

A Tale of Two Halves for the Gators

Florida could not find any rhythm in the first half. Anytime they looked to be getting into the flow of the game, it would slip away from them. Florida State answered any punch thrown by Florida to keep their lead intact with ease.

Overall, the Gators could not get anything to fall on offense for almost the entire first half, shooting just 27.6% from the field. Furthermore, they only made one three-point basket on 12 attempts.

And they did not help themselves on defense either. Florida State shot 48.4% from the field, and 50% from behind the arc.

Yet, something clicked for the Gators coming out of halftime. A total 180 on both sides of the ball. The first nine minutes or so of the second half saw Florida take a 59-48 lead over the Seminoles after going on a 33-5 scoring run.

And what would be the highlight of the night came on a slam from Alex Fudge that was a part of this run. With around 10 minutes left in the game, he skied high over the Seminoles’ big man to continue Florida’s huge run.

From here, the Gators never relinquished their lead. The closest the Seminoles would get to tying the game would be five points at the 4:55 mark.

In addition to Castleton’s performance, Will Richard and Trey Bonham turned in quality performances against the Seminoles. Richard provided 13 points and six rebounds, and Bonham scored 11 points, dished out three assists and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench.

Up next for Florida is the Phil Knight Legacy event. They will take on Xavier on November 24th at 5:30 pm.

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