UF Gator Basketball has a strong start to season

Gator’s basketball is here, and after a dominant start to the season,  Florida recorded their first lost in a heartbreaker to Conference USA opponent Florida Atlantic University 74-76 on Monday.  Even with Colin Castleton scoring 30 it wasn’t enough to stop the amazing shooting performance from FAU. 

Besides the huge upset loss they started the season well with victories over the Stony Brook Seawolves on Monday, November 7th, and the Kennesaw State Owls on Friday, November 11th. 

The Gators are coming off a disappointing year. They didn’t make the NCAA tournament, and that is the first time they have not made it since 2016. The Gators are looking forward to a better season this year with the return of Castleton who averaged 16 points last season and transfers Kyle Lofton, and Alex Fudge.

In the first half of the Stony Brook game the Gators got off to a quick start gaining a 14 point lead. Then late in the first Fudge hit a nice finger roll layup to put Florida up by 18. Then about halfway through the first half Florida started to go on a run with Castleton doing a nice spin-move floater in the paint which put Florida up by 16. At the half Florida was up by a dominating 16 points, 38 – 22.

In the second half Florida started off strong with a three by Will Richard, to put Florida up by 21. Then with about 3 minutes left in the game Niels Lane hits a nice floater to put the Gators up even further stretching the lead out to 30. The final score was 81-45. Fudge had 16 points, Richard had 14, and Castleton had 13 points and 5 rebounds.

In the second game of the week, Florida played Kennesaw State in an exciting game. Early in the first half, Caslteton started off hot with a nice and-one dunk and a sweet pump fake layup. It was close for the rest of the half until with about three minutes left Florida started pulling away with Castleton leading the way with some good mid-range jumpers and getting layups in the post which grew their lead to ten at the half.

In the second half Florida maintained their lead but that didn’t stop Castleton from scoring. Around the beginning of the second Lofton dimed Castleton for the easy mid-range jumper. Then late in the second Castleton got another bucket in the paint which stretched their lead to seventeen. A couple buckets by Kennesaw State made it a little closer but Florida was able to hang on. Castleton Finished with 33 points, and 9 rebounds, also Richard had 15 points, and Kowacie Reeves had 11 points and 5 rebounds.