Florida basketball score, takeaways: Gators sink across all phases in loss at Ole Miss

By Adam Silverstein
January 24, 2022
Florida basketball score, takeaways: Gators sink across all phases in loss at Ole Miss
Basketball

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

An embarrassing loss that encapsulated head coach Mike White’s tenure, the Florida Gators fell 70-54 on the road to the Ole Miss Rebels in a make-up game for the previously postponed SEC opener for both programs. Florida played as if it wanted to be anywhere else but Oxford, Mississippi, on Monday night.

The Gators played as uneven a game as they have all season in a performance that was emblematic of most of the problems the program has faced during White’s tenure. From shot selection to ball protection to simply running any type of consistent offense, they did none of it in an embarrassing loss to a .500 team that snapped a three-game winning streak.

What went down on Monday night? Let’s take a look at some Fastbreak Takeaways.

It was over when … Ole Miss used an 8-0 run to open the second half as part of an extended scoring stretch that put the hosts ahead 11 with 10:09 to play. Though Florida had enough time to theorhetically get back in the game, its play to that point made it clear there was no chance of that happening. The Gators never got their deficit closer than seven points over the duration, and the Rebels outscored the visitors 13-5 over the final 3:03 to win by a game-high 16 points.

First half focus: Florida never learns its lesson no matter how many times it is taught. One of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation, the Gators took 15 of their 22 first-half field goals from long range and suffered because of it. The game was tied 22 at the break because Florida went 2 of 15 from downtown, choosing to jack treys rather than focus on scoring inside where it was 5 of 7 in the opening period.

Though the Gators did shoot more twos in the second half (even 14-14 split), they were inefficient the entire game. Florida shot 4 of 29 from beyond the arc (.138) and 15 of 21 from inside of it (.714). Had UF been patient and attacked the interior for all 40 minutes, it likely would have won this game easily.

Exceptional efforts? Junior center Jason Jitoboh was nails, hitting all six of his shots for team-highs of 12 points and five rebounds. Senior forward Anthony Duruji was also solid with 11 points, four boards and two assists, but he committed three turnovers in the game.

Odds and ends: Senior point guard Tyree Appleby made three of the team’s four 3-pointers but finished 3 of 8 from the field for 11 points with four rebounds, four assists and four turnovers, negating the positive parts of his performance … five players combined to go 1 of 18 from downtown … Florida shot a season-low 13.8% from downtown … the Gators’ 38% mark from the field was somehow just its fourth-worst this season … UF is understandably 1-4 when shooting 38.2% or worse this campaign … Ole Miss outperformed Florida in every statistical category except free throw shooting, offensive rebounds and blocks … the Gators are now 68-48 all-time against the Rebels but with a 23-32 mark in Oxford … White is now 6-3 all-time against Ole Miss … Florida fell to 35-54 when allowing 70+ points and 4-24 when scoring less than 60 under White

What it means: Nothing good. As usual, when the Gators provide a glimpse of hope, they figure out a way to dash it in a hurry. Florida’s three straight SEC wins made it look like an NCAA Tournament team again. It followed that up with one of the worst losses of the season despite the fact that it fell to Texas Southern in nonconference play.

Instead of continuing to follow the men’s basketball team, it’s time for Gators fans to look towards the women’s program. Florida women’s basketball (15-5, 5-2 SEC) is currently in the midst of its first five-game conference winning streak since 2009. The Gators just beat No. 11 LSU 73-72 on Sunday afternoon and also have wins over previous No. 23 Kentucky and No. 25 Texas A&M over that stretch. Watch the ladies.

What’s next? Nothing good. As this was a makeup game, Florida has a quick turnaround. It will play its third opponent in five days on Wednesday when it gets a second straight road contest at Tennessee. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. and air live nationally on ESPN2.

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