Florida basketball score, takeaways: Colin Castleton’s career night pushes Gators by Kennesaw State

By OnlyGators.com Staff
November 11, 2022
Florida basketball score, takeaways: Colin Castleton’s career night pushes Gators by Kennesaw State

Image Credit: UAA

Florida Gators basketball improved to 2-0 under new head coach Todd Golden, though it got a perhaps tougher-than-anticipated challenge from the Kennesaw State Owls on Friday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. Despite a late charge from the Owls, the Gators prevailed 88-78 thanks to a career effort from redshirt senior forward Colin Castleton.

The fifth-year star and preseason All-SEC selection posted a career-high 33 points, scoring 19 in the first half to give Florida a 10-point lead at the break. He did not slow down in the second frame, and while UF had to fight the entire 40 minutes, Castleton’s constant scoring presence was a primary reason the team was never in danger even when KSU attempted to make a run late.

Let’s take a look at what went down Friday night with Fastbreak Takeaways.

It was over when … the Gators answered a quick 8-1 scoring stretch in the final 2 minutes with a pair of free throws by redshirt senior guard Myreon Jones to retake a 12-point lead with 1:14 to play. Florida made 3 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc and 15 of 19 free throws in the second half, only seeing its lead cut to single digits once briefly over the final 10:48. UF led by as many as 17 points with 2:20 left.

First half focus: A 13-2 run midway through the period broke open a close game, giving the Gators a lead that ballooned to 14 on four different occasions before halftime. Castleton completely dominated the opening frame, scoring 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting with four rebounds and two assists.

Exceptional efforts: Castleton’s career-high 33 points was not the only statistical category he filled. That scoring came on an impressive 12 of 18 performance from the field with nine boards, three dimes, three blocks and two steals. Sophomore guard Will Richard was other standout posting 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting with two rebounds as he made key shots in both halves. Castleton also made 9 of 13 gimmies with Richard making both of his free throw attempts.

Odds and ends: Florida and Kennesaw State played for the first time … the Gators improved to 102-19 all-time against Atlantic Sun teams … UF led for 34:32 of the 40-minute contest … Florida only had 11 assists on 30 baskets … KSU scored 17 of its points off 11 UF turnovers … sophomore G Kowacie Reeves posted 11 points and five rebounds; he made 2 of 4 attempts from downtown … redshirt senior G Kyle Lofton scored nine points (4/8 FG) but fouled out

What it means: The Gators took care of business. The Owls are no slouch as a program, and they were an appropriate second opponent for Golden as he ramps Florida up for its first game against a power conference opponent next week at Florida State. The Gators showed some signs of disconnect on the defensive end, and while they had no problem scoring, their low assist margin through two games is not ideal (but may be circumstantial). UF is exactly where it wanted to be through its first week, but there’s no doubt that improvements need to be made as it prepares to step up against tougher competition.

What’s next? Florida will end its homestand Monday when it hosts FAU. It will be the Gators’ first televised game of the season, tipping off at 7 p.m. ET and airing live nationally on SEC Network.

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