Scott Stricklin

Gator Men’s Basketball Drops Home Game to Aggies

The Florida men’s basketball team falls to 0-2 in SEC play after losing at home to Texas A & M Aggies 66-63 Wednesday night in the O’Connell Center.

First Half

Right at the start of the game, something extremely unusual happened; the Aggies had a wardrobe malfunction as they left their uniforms at the team hotel and as a result the game could not start on time.  This resulted in a technical foul that allowed Will Richard to make a free throw, creating a one-point lead at the beginning of the game for the Gators.

However, that lead was cut short as the Aggies quickly took over the first half by taking advantage of the Gators’ multiple missed shots and nine turnovers.

“We didn’t show any fight in the first half,” Richard said.

Texas A&M’s intense defense and consistent shooting allowed them to dominate the first half as the Aggies went up 34-23.

Second Half

The Gators returned after halftime on fire like Kowacie Reeve’s  new hot pink flame hairstyle. They went on an 8-0 run which was ignited by Richard playing great man-on-man defense that allowed him to get a steal and make a sharp pass to Trey Bonham for an easy layup. Soon after, both Richard and Kyle Lofton drained triples to help the Gator cause.  Despite this hot run, Texas A&M’s trio of sharpshooters, Julius Marble, Wade Taylor IV and Tyrece Radford allowed the Aggies to take the lead. The trio of Aggies each scored 17 points in the game.
Nonetheless, the Gators continued to push through to catch up to the Aggies. Both teams played hard down the stretch and the game came down to the final minute.

Final Minute

The Aggies were leading by two points but Colin Castleton changed that by stealing the ball and making a fast break to the basket to tie the game 63-63. After a timeout, the Aggies wasted no time as Taylor IV hit a late floater, and Radford made a free throw. Bonham failed to make a three that would have sent the game into overtime. Final score 66-63.

Gators’ After Game Thoughts

According to Castleton, “They just played better than us overall,” meaning they took advantage of the Gators’ turnovers and lack of ability to stop the Aggies from executing plays that included open shots and easy layups.

“Disappointing,” said Gator head coach Todd Golden when asked about the Gators’ performance in the game.  But he added he thinks the Gators are getting closer to being a better team but this loss puts Florida with its worst 14 game performance to start a season since 1995/96.

“We’re close to being a really good team. We are not there yet,” he said.

The Gators’ significant game flaws were the 20 turnovers and the fact that they shot 17 fewer field goal attempts than the Aggies. These errors are correctable, according to Golden. All of those errors are what he calls a bad formula for winning.

What’s Next?

The Gators will meet a familiar face; former head coach Mike White. They will take on his Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday at home; Georgia comes off a home win over nationally ranked Auburn and sit at 11-3 on the season.


About Cristina Santiago

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

Check Also

Olivier Rioux (left), who will join the UF basketball team as a preferred walk-on in the fall, is currently 7-foot-7.

‘The World’s Tallest Teenager’: 7-foot-7 Rioux Ready to Head to UF

BRADENTON — The IMG Academy national men’s basketball team is running three-on-three drills with a skyscraper. …