Instant Analysis: Comeback falls short

No. 10 Seed Colorado 102 - No. 7 Seed Florida 100

by Joseph Torviso
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After a spectacular run in the SEC tournament, it seems that the Gators left their defense back in Tennessee. It was a thrilling first 20 minutes with it being all squared before halftime, but things started to get away from Florida in the second half. After an excellent solo effort by Walter Clayton Jr. brought his team back into the game, the Orange and Blue were sent packing, falling to the Buffaloes 102-100.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: The basketball kept rolling around the rim. KJ Simpson Jr. scored with just over one second left in the game. Walter Clayton Jr. hopelessly launched it up the court, but the ball hit the backboard and bounced onto the floor.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Is Eddie Lamkin Jr. a Center or a Linebacker? He bulldozed his way through the Florida defense scoring some big points for the Buffaloes. Lamkin also dropped dimes all around the Gators. He ended the night with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: The Gators nearly doubled the number of fouls they committed in the first half. Before halftime, the Gators fouled eight times. In the final 20 minutes, Florida had 14. The Orange and Blue could not stop the Buffaloes in the second half without fouling, giving them 33 trips to the charity stripe.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: With Micah Handlogten being out, the Buffaloes knew their bigs had the advantage. Although Condon made his first career start, he was consistent, depended on, and made some big plays. Colorado’s big men just outperformed Florida though with da Silva and Lampkin outscoring and out assisting the Gators’ front court.

WHAT A PLAY: Walter Clayton Jr. He’s him. The guard put his team on his back and scored Florida’s last 16 points of the game. An incredible moment in his career will be overshadowed by his team’s poor defensive performance.

UP NEXT: Florida heads back home after being eliminated from the round of 64 for the first time in the last nine tournament appearances. The No. 10 Buffaloes are back in the Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday to take on Big East conference opponent No. 2 (26-9) Marquette. The Golden Eagles thrashed No. 15 Western Kentucky 87-69 earlier today.

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