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Florida Basketball

Instant Analysis: Gators drop second in a row after losing tight one in Starkville

January 15, 2019
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The Florida Gators (9-7, 1-3) dropped another close one in conference play Tuesday night, losing to the Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-3, 1-2) 71-68. Once again, the Gators could’ve had this one as the team continues to miss out on opportunities.

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WHAT WENT WRONG: It’s starting to become a reoccurring theme, but the Gators couldn’t hold on to the win yet again on Tuesday. The Gators and Bulldogs went back-and-forth all game, and the Gators had the lead late in the game. It took a Bulldogs field goal with 3.6 seconds left for them to get the victory, but the Gators let their opponent take control of the game late, which cost them once again.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: Lamar Peters was in a zone all night for the Bulldogs, leading them with 16 points. Quinndary Weatherspoon added 9 points, including the game-winning basket.

It was a team effort for the Gators offensively, but once again KeVaughn Allen came to play. The senior finished with 17 points, after scoring 18 in each of the Gators last two. Allen continues to look like he’s in a comfort zone as the offense flows through him.

Another good sign for the Gators was the production of the freshman trio. Andrew Nemhard led the freshmen, scoring 13. Keyontae Johnson contributed 11 points, with Noah Locke scoring 12.

NUMBERS DON’T LIE: Live by the three, die by the three has seemingly been the motto of Gator teams the past couple seasons. It’s once again the case with this team, and it could be costing them games. The Gators drained 10 three-pointers, but at the cost of throwing up 31 attempts from beyond the arc. The offense continues to force looks from deep, instead of moving the ball around looking for the easier look.

BOTTOM LINE: The Gators played another ranked team tight until the end, showing that they can compete in the SEC. But once again, the Gators dropped another close one. As mentioned, the Gators are showing they can hang with teams in the conference, but moral victories don’t get teams into the tournament. There’s still a lot of basketball left to play, but as it stands the Gators are looking like a team that will be on the outside looking in unless something changes quickly.

UP NEXT: The Gators will be testing on the road again, as they travel to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. The Bulldogs have gone through ups and downs like the Gators, but seem to be an improved team under new head coach Tom Crean.

Instant Analysis: Gators drop second in a row after losing tight one in Starkville

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