(Photo courtesy Florida Sports Information)
After a disappointing trip to the Phil Knight Legacy, Florida has returned home to make it two in a row against Sunshine State opposition with an 89-51 win over Stetson.
Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.
IT WAS OVER WHEN: The Stetson Hatters will look back at this game as one lost late in the first half. The culprit? No Florida Gator. It was foul trouble that ultimately killed the game off as Colin Castleton’s two free throws began an 11-point run for Florida with under three minutes to go.
From there, Riley Kugel, Alex Fudge, and Trey Bonham combined for five additional free throws to send the Gators into the locker-room up 33-22.
THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Will Richard’s three-point shooting. There is nothing more demoralizing in basketball than a team that can stretch you from deep and batter you down low. As the Gators move away from an offense that lived and breathed Castleton, Richard, alongside Bonham, have found their share of the O’Dome spotlight.
Richard’s 14 points on perfect 5/5 shooting set him apart tonight as the Belmont transfer cements his role in the Gators’ starting rotation.
THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Unforgiving from the charity stripe. The Gators quietly took what the Hatters were given and left no crumbs at the line. Florida was shooting 17/18 from the line before Jason Jitoboh hit the stripe with 4:35 to go. The Gators finished 22/26 from the line accounting for 57.9% of their win margin.
THIS MATCHUP PROVED KEY: Tonight was as close to the textbook definition of a team effort as the Gators have seen all season. Richard led with 14 points, 12 from Kowacie Reeves, and11 from Castleton spelled a team effort. But my plaudits will go to Fudge tonight. He proved an absolute mismatch all day for Stetson’s Alvin Tumblin whether it was downlow or out in the perimeter. Fudge was everywhere on his way to an 11-point performance on 7/7 free throw shooting and eight boards.
WHAT A PLAY: 4:16 left to play, with a 32-point lead, Jitoboh found himself wide-open in three-point land. The crowd yelled “shoooot” and the senior complied. Jitoboh couldn’t help but smile as the everyone from the bench to the crowd went crazy. It was a party at the O’Dome tonight and that was the cherry on top.
.@JasonJitoboh HITS A THREE!!!!!
*and the crowd goes wild*
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) December 4, 2022
UP NEXT: The Gators face their toughest test yet in No. 8 UConn Wednesday night, with tip off set for 9 P.M.
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