Florida basketball score, takeaways: Gators dominate California with another double-digit win

By Adam Silverstein
November 22, 2021
Florida basketball score, takeaways: Gators dominate California with another double-digit win
Basketball

Image Credit: GatorsMBK on Twitter

No. 23 Florida Gators basketball continued its hot start to the 2021-22 season by taking control of the California Bears in the first half and cruising to an 80-60 win in the 2021 Fort Myers Tip-Off at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. With the victory, the Gators improved to 4-0 on the young season with all of its wins coming by double digits.

Florida was never in danger Monday, leading for 35:27 of the game as it dominated the interior offensively and used a total team effort to take down Cal. Four Gators scored in double figures with seven players getting at least 17 minutes of court time in the game. Though UF will have a quick turnaround for its next game (more on that below), the team continues to impress as a veteran squad led by head coach Mike White and two new assistant coaches clearly gelled together well in the offseason.

What went down and what did we learn as Florida improved to 4-0? Keep on reading for Fastbreak Takeaways from the game.

It was over when … Florida opened second half on 7-1 run to lead by 24 after a transition bounce pass from senior forward Colin Castleton led to a big slam by senior F Anthony Duruji. The Gators later used a 10-2 run to boost their lead to as many as 26 points midway through the period. UF never relented from there, maintaining an advantage of at least 19 points through the final whistle.

First half focus: The Gators used an extended 20-7 scoring stretch to take an 11-point lead with less than 4 minutes until the break. They did not stop there, though, making four straight 3s and six consecutive baskets to end the period on a 7-0 run with a 19-point lead. It was a total team effort, though senior guard Myreon Jones was 3 of 4 from long range with 11 points to start the game.

Exceptional efforts: Castleton started slow but excelled in the second half, finishing with a game-highs of 16 points and eight rebounds. Senior G Tyree Appleby was perfect on seven attempts from the charity stripe for 15 points, while Jones slowed down after his hot start with 13 points in the contest.

Odds and ends: Florida dominated paint scoring 36-28 but got beaten off turnovers 19-10 … the Gators did not distribute the ball as well as they have recently with 10 assists on 27 baskets, but it hardly mattered … UF hit 18 of 21 free throws and connected on 8 of 19 triples with its proficiency from beyond the arc building a big first-half lead.

Florida won its first game ever against Cal after losing twice to the Bears in the 1980s … the Gators have won 12 of 13 games against Pac-12 opponents dating back to 2003 with a 3-0 mark under White … UF improved to 56-3 when scoring 80+ points and 92-25 when allowing 69 points or fewer under White

What it means / what’s next? Florida once again took care of business and has now won all four of its games this season by at least 13 points. Ohio State edged No. 21 Seton Hall in the first game of the afternoon and will face UF on Wednesday. The Buckeyes’ lone loss of the season came to then-No. 25 Xavier, and they will be a formidable opponent for a Gators team still looking to prove itself on the national scene despite their early season win over formerly ranked Florida State.

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