Florida Gators basketball (6-2) trailed for all but 31 seconds of Tuesday night’s game against the No. 17 Miami Hurricanes (8-1), falling 66-55 to its in-state rivals on the road at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables, Florida.
The Gators have now fallen to the two best teams they’ve faced this season and only have a much tougher opponent on deck Saturday night.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Tuesday’s win with six quick-hitters:
Bogus backcourt: Inefficient guard play doomed Florida on Tuesday. Point guards junior Kasey Hill and sophomore Chris Chiozza were completely ineffective against Miami, combining to go 2-for-11 (0-for-5 from three) with six points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, five turnovers and 10 fouls (five each). Meanwhile, Canes guards Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez absolutely torched the Gators, combining to score two-thirds of their team’s points (41) on 12-of-20 shooting (6-of-9 from three, 11-of-12 from the charity stripe) with eight boards and four steals.
Important yet inconsistent: Redshirt senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith has played well at times this season but had yet another uneven performance Tuesday, scoring 12 point on 4-of-7 shooting with six rebounds but hitting just 3-of-8 free throws and finishing with a team worst -15 in the plus-minus.
At least they got -nu: For all of Florida’s issues, redshirt sophomore center John Egbunu has been a bright spot for the Gators. He once again led Florida in scoring (14 points), hitting all four of his free throws and grabbing five boards, though he did have four fouls in 30 minutes.
U-G-L-Y, they aint got no alibi: Florida hit 8.3 percent of its threes, 62.5 percent of its free throws and was outrebounded by 11. The Gators also allowed the Canes to cruise to victory despite four of the host’s players combinging to go 0-fo-r12 from the field. The rest of Miami’s team – those that made baskets – did so at a rate of 51.3 percent.
Everything else: Sophomore F Devin Robison also finished in double figures with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting, adding six boards and a couple dimes … UF actually forced more turnovers than it committed for once (14-10) … the Gators led for a total of 13 seconds … despite playing seven players off the bench, Florida only benefited with 10 points
Up next: The Gators will take on the No. 1 Spartans (9-0) in East Lansing on Saturday at 6 p.m. Michigan State will celebrate its 2000 NCAA title victory over Florida during the contest, which is almost assuredly set to be a huge win for MSU over a UF team that has struggled – losing by a combined 26 points – against the best teams its faced this season.