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Gators Men’s Basketball Dominates Second Half to Beat Stetson

The Florida men’s basketball team (6-3) used a dominant second half performance to ease past the Stetson Hatters (4-3) at home on Sunday, winning 89-51.

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Richard Puts in a Perfect Performance for Florida

Transfer guard Will Richard returned to action on Sunday against Stetson after missing the last game through injury. He provided instant offense for a team that needed it in the first half. Richard scored nine points and was perfect from behind the arc in the first half. He did not have the chance to play much in the second as the Gators managed to jump out to a commanding lead which let them empty the bench. Overall, he did not miss a shot in 18 minutes of action off the bench against the Hatters. He went 5 of 5 from the field and 4 for 4 from behind the arc totaling 14 points.

Florida coach Todd Golden had nothing but praise for the guard after his game against Stetson.

“Jekyll and Hyde” Performance From the Gators

Points were hard to come by for the Gators to begin the first half. The offense only managed 11 points in the first eight minutes of the game. Nothing would fall through the net for them on offense. It started to come together for the offense slightly as it went on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes of the game. This gave them an 18-8 lead over the Hatters halfway through the first. From here, Florida never really let their opponent gain control of the game. Fighting off any runs Stetson made, the Gators separated themselves at the end of the half with an 11-point lead at 33-22.

In this first half, star big man Colin Castleton did not explode scoring-wise, but he showed off another skill of his, vision. On this play he found CJ Felder for the easy slam.

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Coming out of halftime is when everything started to click for Florida. The second half for the Gator offense was completely different from the first. It came out making their threes in bunches and finishing their easy layups. Additionally, they continued to knock down their free throws. Florida found itself leading 53-26 by the 14-minute mark thanks to a 20-4 run coming out of halftime.

From there, the lead only grew for Florida. And by the four minute mark, the Gators held a commanding 79-46 lead over Stetson. And what capped off that lead could be considered the play of the game. With just over four minutes left in the game, the Gator crowd urged Jason Jitoboh to shoot a three and he did not hesitate.

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This is just how the second half went for Florida and its offense. They ended the second half shooting 61.3% from the field, which boosted them to 52.8% in the game overall. Additionally, they made 50% of their threes on 22 attempts in this game. Lastly for the offense, it finished 22 of 26 (84.6%) from the free throw line.

On defense, they held Stetson to just 33.3% from the field in this game. Moreover, they only nailed 4 of their 17 three point attempts against the Gators and the Florida defense forced 16 turnovers by the Hatters. These combined efforts on both ends of the floor resulted in them winning 89-51.

When asked about his thoughts on the team’s performance against Stetson, Golden responded with only positive analysis.

Florida’s next game will be against UConn. They welcome in the Huskies to Exactech Arena on Wednesday at 9 pm.

About Kyle Lander

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