Scott Stricklin

Gator Men’s Basketball Falls Short Against Number Five U-Conn

The Florida men’s basketball team had a great opportunity to defeat the top five ranked Connecticut Huskies at home on Wednesday night but it fell short both offensively and defensively as the Gators drop a 75-54 decision to the Huskies.

Gators’ Struggles

“It’s horrific,” Gator fifth year player Colin Castleton said when looking at the statistics from the game that showed the Gators shot 30.2% from the field. Florida was only in the lead for the first 46 seconds of the game. UConn quickly took the lead on a 12-1 run that allowed them to establish their dominance on the court. UConn’s defense created intense ball pressure, resulting in the Gators taking forced shots, limiting opportunities for good looks, steals, and forced turnovers. Their intensified defensive effort had the Gator’s top scorers struggling to score points. Will Richard and Kyle Lofton were scoreless. Trey Bonham had just four points.

Ultimately, the top scorers of the game for Florida were Alex Fudge (13 points), Colin Castleton (12 points), and Riley Kugel, who made a college career high of 13 points. Florida’s inability to execute the majority of their shots became the primary factor in its loss.

UConn shot 51.7% from the field and played defensively very well.  Two key individuals who offered a strong offensive and defensive presence were 6’9″ power forward Adama Sanogo and 7’2″ center Donovan Clingan. They successfully outperformed big men Castleton and Jason Jitoboh. Sanogo put up 17 points, and Clingan chipped in with 16 points inside.  They were both efficient at rebounding and protecting the rim. Another excellent player for the Huskies was 6’5″ guard Jordan Hawkins who scored 15 points, with four rebounds and three assists. He did most of his damage in the second half of the contest.

What’s Next For The Gators?

A lot of work according to Gator coach  Todd Golden.

“We just got a lot of work to do and a lot of work on the offensive end to get comfortable and confident to win a game like this.”

They will travel to Tampa to take on the Ohio Bobcats on December 14th at 7 p.m.


About Cristina Santiago

Cristina Santiago is a senior at the University of Florida studying journalism with a concentration in sports and media.

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