Florida men's basketball head coach Todd Golden juggles two basketballs before the Orange and Blue game at the Exactech Arena.
UF men's basketball coach Todd Golden says a big part of his recruiting strategy is finding international talent. Photo: Sydney Johnson/ WRUF

Florida Basketball Suffers Blowout Loss to Ole Miss

Florida had a short-lived lead in the first half before Ole Miss took command by shooting 75 percent in the second half for a 103-85 SEC basketball win Wednesday in Oxford, Miss.

The Gators ( (10-5, 0-2 SEC) were coming off a close loss to the No. 6 Kentucky, 87-85, on Saturday in Gainesville. The No. 23 Rebels (14-1, 1-1) were coming off a big loss to fifth-ranked Tennessee, 90-64.


The Breakdown

Florida started off the game well, holding a 17-12 lead with 13:38 remaining in the first half. Guard Walter Clayton Jr. was excellent in the game, firing off nine quick points in the first eight minutes of action.

After hitting a scoring drought late in the period, the Gators found themselves down 44-40 after a Zyon Pullin layup beat the buzzer to close out the half.


Shooting was a big problem for the Gators, and the inefficient play came back to bite them in the second half. Florida found themselves in a double-digit hole early on, and the Rebels never looked back.

The Gators went down at one point by 23. One thing to point was the lack of play from Riley Kugel. The sophomore guard played just four minutes.

The Stats

Florida shot 41.3 percent as a team and 29.4 percent from 3. Clayton Jr. stood out by leading the Gators with 23 and five rebounds. This is Clayton Jr’s fifth 20-point game of the season. Florida won the battle on the boards 44-34, with forward Alex Condon hauling in 15 rebounds. On the defensive side, the Gators forced just eight Ole Miss turnovers while allowing the Rebels to shoot 59.1 percent from the field.

Ole Miss scorched Florida by shooting 59.1 percent from the floor and and 75 percent in the second half. The Rebels also shot 40 percent from 3, with forward Jaemyn Brakefield leading the way with 28 points. Forward Moussa Cisse led the team in rebounding with six. On the defensive side, Ole Miss forced 13 turnovers, stealing the ball nine times. The Rebels had 16 blocks as a team, with forward Jamarion Sharp accounting for nine of those.

Up Next

Florida looks to break into the win column in SEC play with a 4 p.m. home game Saturday against Arkansas (9-6, 0-2). ESPN and 98.1-FM/850-AM WRUF will provide the coverage.


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