Florida basketball score: Gators start slow, fight back but fall on road to TCU

By Adam Silverstein
January 26, 2019
Florida basketball score: Gators start slow, fight back but fall on road to TCU
Basketball

Image Credit: ESPN Images

In a complete 180 from their usual performances, Florida Gators basketball trailed by a substantial margin early and fought back in the second half but were unable to pull off an improbable comeback on the road against the TCU Horned Frogs. Instead, Florida (11-8) dropped another game to a talented opponent as TCU (15-4) picked up a key 55-50 win in the 2019 SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Let’s take a look at what went down for the Gators in their latest loss.


 

It was over when … TCU’s Demond Bane hit two free throws with 3 seconds left to ensure a buzzer-beater attempt by Florida would be all for naught. Bane made four free throws over the final 22 seconds to stave off one last Gators comeback attempt, an effort that may not have been necessary had they played any semblance of quality basketball in the first half.

Florida was outscored 18-3 to open the game with seven turnovers in the first 11 minutes; TCU scored the first 11 points of the game, and UF missed 14 of its first 15 attempts. It managed to find some offense midway through the first half but remained down 12 at the break. In a credit to the mindset of the team, the Gators busted out of halftime like gangbusters, completing an 18-2 half-spanning run with a 14-2 stretch to tie the game with 13:13 to play. However, the Horned Frogs retook the lead with 12:04 to play and held onto it for good despite the visitors’ improved shooting over the final 20 minutes of the game. Florida outscored TCU 30-23 in the second half but only shot 30.6 percent for the game

Exceptional efforts: Freshman forward Keyontae Johnson was the best player on the court for UF, scoring nine points on 4-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds in 21 minutes. Though others on the team were able to put the ball in the basket, no one shot or rebounded with any efficiency. This after seeing two players combine for nearly 60 points just one game ago.

Odds and ends: Senior guards KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson combined for 17 points but shot just 6-of-23 from the floor, 3-for-14 from downtown … the Gators were outrebounded 45-33 and got dominated down low 24-18 scoring-wise … TCU was better scoring off turnovers (11-9) despite Florida forcing seven more (17-10) … UF never held the lead and only tied the game for 2:12 in the second half … the Gators are now 4-2 all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge

What it means: Another disappointing loss for a team that looked like it was still on the bus in the first half. Florida is now 0-7 against the top 40 teams ranked by KenPom.com, which spells disaster for its NCAA Tournament chances. Though some understandably thought the Gators had little opportunity to make the field as is, Florida was actually receiving some love and excuse-making nationally for its tough nonconference slate. Still, UF actually has to beat some quality teams to make the 68-team field, and it has not done so — at all — this season.

Up next: The touch schedule continues for Florida on Wednesday when it hosts No. 20 Ole Miss in a game that will air live nationally on SEC Network. It is the first of four games it will play against ranked opponents over the next two weeks.

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