Florida basketball score, takeaways: Florida State wins, Gators lose Keyontae Johnson in scary moment

By Jake Winderman
December 12, 2020
Florida basketball score, takeaways: Florida State wins, Gators lose Keyontae Johnson in scary moment
Basketball

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

The No. 20 Florida State Seminoles handed Florida Gators basketball its first loss of the season and seventh-straight defeat in the rivalry series on Saturday afternoon, but the 83-71 result was far from the most salient detail from the game. Junior forward Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the court less than 4 minutes into the game, completely altering the tone, tenor and importance of the game itself.

The Gators led by nine at the time of Johnson’s health incident and regained that lead a bit later but were unable to match up against the Noles without him in the game and with the team’s head likely in a different place over the final 36 minutes of the contest.

As for what went down on Saturday as Florida lost its first game of the season, keep on reading for our Fastbreak takeaways from the game.

It was over when … Florida State ended the first half on a 9-2 scoring stretch to take a 10-point lead. FSU outscored UF 39-24 after Johnson left the game, including a 17-0 run midway through the half that turned the on-court momentum. Florida, admirably, never gave up but couldn’t truly get back within striking distance after Johnson was stretchered off the court.

The Noles set multiple season-highs on offense vs. the Gators, including on field goals (48%), three-pointers (50%) and free-throws (77%). They also tied their season-high with eight buckets from beyond the arc. Scottie Barnes, a future lottery pick, was phenomenal for Florida State, finishing with a career-high 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field.

Important injury: Breaking a huddle coming out of the first media timeout, Johnson collapsed near the arc and was taken off the hardwood on a stretcher. He was then transported to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where he was listed as being in “critical but stable condition.” Read more about Johnson’s health incident and stay updated with his status here.

Exceptional efforts: With Johnson out early, sophomores guard Scottie Lewis and point guard Tre Mann, a pair of former five-star recruits, stepped up to the task of leading the Gators offense. Lewis tied his career-best with a team-high 19 points on 4 of 5 shooting from downtown. He also added four rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Mann split time as the floor general but was the superior player UF’s triumvirate, finishing with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal. Junior center Colin Castleton also deserves a shoutout after having to battle with bigger, more athletic players in the post all afternoon. The Michigan transfer posted 7 points and 7 rebounds, including a team-leading 4 offensive boards. He was also an efficient 3 of 4 from the field. 

Odds and ends: Florida State has now won seven straight in the series, tying the longest winning streak by either program since 1968 … Florida fell to 43-29 all-time in the series … the Gators are now 4-10 against ACC teams under head coach Mike White, including 0-6 against the Noles … UF is 3-8 under White in nonconference road games and 15-29 against ranked teams … Florida is now 91-21 when scoring 70+ points

What it means: While the game will go in the loss column for Florida, it truly felt like a no contest. The Gators sincerely poured blood, sweat and tears into the game after Johnson’s departure, but they understandably didn’t have the focus or cohesion on either side of the floor without their best player and close friend, whose health they were worried about. There wasn’t really much to take away from this game after the 16:18 mark of the first half when Florida led 11-2.

What’s next? The Gators have three days off before taking on North Florida on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. The tilt will be Florida’s second home game of the season.

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