University of Florida Men's Basketball Head Coach Todd Golden juggles two basketballs before the 3-point shoot-off during the men's basketball Orange and Blue game at the Exactech Arena in the Stephen C. OÕConnell Center Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (Sydney Johnson/ WRUF)

Florida Men’s Basketball Dominates FSU

The Florida Gator men’s basketball team dominated Florida State on Friday in Exactech Arena with an 89-68 win.

How It Happened

The Gators (3-1) were able to secure the lead early in the first half and controlled the contest the rest of the way. Junior guard Walter Clayton Jr. started off strong in the first half, and led the Gators in points with 19. He also had multiple assists, three in the first half. Sophomore Thomas Haugh led the team in rebounds during the first half with eight.

Zyon Pullin also made his return to the court for his debut with the Gators after a three-game suspension, and put up 15 points for the night. Tyrese Samuel scored 15 and Riley Kugel added 10.

“Obviously the rotation was tighter in the first half,” UF coach Todd Golden said. “We played eight. ZP (Pullin) off the bench as the only perimeter and then kind of rotating those four guys, and I think they just have got really good rhythm and really good flow.”

The Seminoles (2-1) were unable to deliver offensively and struggled behind the Gators offensive efforts. After halftime, it was unrealistic to think the Seminoles would be able to come back and take the lead.

The second half was more back-and-forth with the presence of more fouls and opportunities for free throws – on both sides.

Clayton Jr. said he believes the team can improve in terms of defense.

“We definitely have a lot of mistakes, a miscommunication here or there; you know we just give up free baskets sometimes,” he said.

Up Next

Next week, the Gators face Pittsburgh on Wednesday night at the Preseason NIT at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

About Emma Pastis

Emma Pastis is an Orlando, FL native who is a second-year journalism student at the University of Florida.

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