Photo courtesy of Florida Gators Men's Basketball, @GatorsMBK, via Twitter.

Gators Men’s Basketball Loses On Road At Kansas State

The Florida men’s basketball team (12-9, 5-3) fell to the number five Kansas State Wildcats (18-3, 6-2) on the road Saturday night, losing 64-50. Gator coach Todd Golden and his guys just could not get back in the game after trailing big early.

This game also would be the reunion with former Gator Keyontae Johnson, with Johnson and the Wildcats coming out on top. Johnson ended the night with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Offense hard to come by against the Wildcats

Offensively, Florida could not get things going. They finished the game shooting 18-for-58 from the floor. Additionally, they shot just 4-for-22 from behind the arc. Their offense never looked like they were in rhythm and almost every possession looked uncomfortable for the Gators. And even though Florida lost by 14 points it could’ve been way worse if the defense had not shown up.

Lackluster first half from the Gators

The first half would not be a pretty one for the Gators. They shot barely over 20% from the field overall and had six turnovers. And it did not get any better on the defensive end either. The Wildcats shot nearly 44% overall and were 7-of-10 from the free-throw line on offense.

Furthermore, Florida struggled to even make it a close game for the first 20 minutes. The closest Florida would be was in the first couple of minutes of the game. They could not string together multiple baskets in a row to cut into the deficit and they found it very difficult to even get multiple stops in a row to stop the Wildcats from extending their lead.

It is hard for any team when their offensive weapons can’t get it going. For Florida, Kowacie Reeves, Kyle Lofton and Will Richard combined shot 0-9 from the field in the half. And their star big man Colin Castleton ended the half with just two points and four rebounds. Overall, it would be a half to forget from the Florida point-of-view as they would trail Kansas State 37-16.

Not enough in the tank for the second half for the Gators

The second half started better than the first for the Gator offense. It came out on a 10-0 run and forced the Wildcats into an early timeout. However, Florida just could not do enough to get back into this game. Any time the Gators threw a punch, the Wildcats responded with one of their own.

In the second half, the Gator would only manage to get as close as 11 points to the Wildcats, which came from this early run. From there, the Wildcats started to run away with it as they slowly pushed out to a 22-point lead by the four-minute mark. Then, for the final four minutes, the Gators and the Wildcats would go back-and-forth to finish this game.

Heading back home now

Florida will now head home to host the Tennessee Volunteers on Wednesday. Following that match up, they will travel to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats on Saturday.

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