Image Credit: ESPNI
No. 21 Florida Gators basketball (7-3) lost its second straight game and third in its last five when it was upended 83-78 by the Florida State Seminoles (10-1) on Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Gators have now dropped three straight games to the Noles, matching the longest losing streak by UF in the rivalry. FSU also holds a 6-5 mark in the series’ last 11 games, a startling change from Florida’s long-time dominance.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Sunday’s loss below.
It was over when … Though it truly appeared as if Florida was done for when it trailed by 13 midway through the second half on the back of a massive run by Florida State, the Gators actually fought their way back and cut their deficit to three as sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen completed an old school three-point play with 2:45 remaining. UF was just unable to complete the comeback as FSU made shots and hit free throws down the stretch to maintain its advantage until the final buzzer.
Exceptional efforts: Senior point guard Kasey Hill posted a career-high 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting, but he was endlessly sloppy with the basketball, committing a game-high five turnovers. Allen, who only played seven minutes in the first half after getting tagged with three fouls, finished second on the team with 16 points in 20 minutes.
Significant stats: As a team the Gators committed nine turnovers and had only nine assists on 29 baskets, which is an incredibly low number. Florida also shot a season-worst 64 percent from the charity stripe. Florida State won the rebounding battle (42-33) and made nine more free throws in the contest, which plays into the final score.
Odds and ends: Junior PG Chris Chiozza played 22 minutes despite dealing with a quadriceps injury but was once again a liability on the court by chucking and missing five threes on the evening … graduate transfer G Canyon Barry had another poor shooting performance hitting just 2-of-10 shots on the night … the Gators actually scored more points off turnovers (25-12), in the paint (42-34) and on the fast break (15-10)
What it means: Florida has now lost to the three best teams its faced this season, all of which land in Ken Pomeroy’s top 25 — Duke (1), Gonzaga (13) and Florida State (25). Those are all “quality losses” for the Gators — and two are quality road losses at that — but UF has once again shown it is unable to beat the best teams it faces. FSU was not ranked at the time of the game (it will be on Monday) so this statistic did not change, but Florida head coach Mike White is 1-9 against ranked opponents and his team has simply not risen to the level of its competition through one-and-a-third seasons. There’s still plenty of room for the Gators to develop under White, but there’s a clear talent disparity when they go up against teams like the three they lost to this season.
Up next: Florida will conclude its exile from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center when it faces Charlotte in the 2016 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on Saturday, Dec. 17 in Sunrise, Florida. UF will finally open at home next Wednesday when it hosts Arkansas-Little Rock in the $64.5 million renovated O’Dome.