FINAL: West Virginia 84, Florida 55
WEST VIRGINIA 84, FLORIDA 55
WHAT HAPPENED: Forward Three Mitchells scored 17 factors and grabbed eight rebounds, guard Erik Stevenson scored 15 factors, together with his first three 3-point makes an attempt, and the Highlanders cruised previous the Gators of their closing Phil Knight Legacy recreation on the Chiles Center on Sunday night time in Portland, Ore. Florida, down 16 factors within the first half, managed to chop the deficit in half on the break, however West Virginia got here out of the locker room on hearth. The Mountaineers opened the interval by hitting 5 of their first seven photographs (together with three 3s) and eight of their first 10 (all 4 3s) to take a 27-point lead, 64-37, after barely six minutes. WVU continued to shoot 50.0 % within the second half from each the ground and the 3-point line, limiting the Gators to 34.5 % for the sport, however 29.0 % after halftime (9-of-31) and simply 11.8 % from deep (2 of 17). The Highlanders additionally labored the Gators on the glass, successful the rebounding battle 49-28 (15-6 on the offensive finish). It did not assist that each UF bigs have been 11 yards aside Colin Castleton and 6-11 backup Jason Jitoboh, have been known as for 3 and 4 fouls, respectively, in a primary half that had WVU within the seven-foul bonus at 13:18, then within the double bonus with 11:19 left within the first half. Florida was led by the fifth-year guard Kyle Lofton’s season excessive 17 factors. Castleton, who arrived on the match because the No. 3 within the nation at 25.3 factors per recreation, was held to only three factors (1-for-6) and 5 rebounds in 18 harm time minutes. Little guard Trey Bonhamwho averaged 21.0 factors within the first two video games of the match, completed with three factors and struggled towards the physicality of the Mountaineers by going 0-for-9 from the ground.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Not a lot to say. This is one that you’d wish to simply “spray” nevertheless it additionally uncovered some flaws on each ends of the ground. The Gators went 1-2 on this extremely prestigious match, however this one will do for one loooooong return flight from the Pacific Northwest.
IN THE CENTER OF ATTENTION: WVU coach Bob Huggins, the second-winningest lively coach in Division I basketball, who picked up his 921st profession victory however first over the Gators in 4 tries and improved to 6-1 on the season. The earlier three losses all got here to a former participant of his personal, the previous UF assistant and Mountaineer level guard (*55*) Nichols, making ready the scout and offering helpful “Huggy Bear” info. Nichols is now the coach at Radford.
GOOD GOOD STATS: The 29-point margin of defeat was the biggest by a Florida staff since a 91-56 loss (and 35-point margin) at Tennessee on Feb. 10, 1999. This was coach Billy Donovan first staff NCAA match. Castleton’s three factors tied his fewest as a Gator. He scored three targets towards Boston College in a win at Bubbleland on Dec. 3, 2020 in Uncasville, Conn., his second recreation in a UF uniform.
NEXT: Florida (4-3) will make a red-eye return to Gainesville, arriving round sunset. The Gators could have Monday off, per NCAA guidelines, however will return to follow Tuesday and put together for a house recreation Wednesday night time towards Florida A&M, out of the Southwest Athletic Conference. UF’s first assembly towards FAMU will not do a lot for the Gators’ NET. The Rattlers (1-4) are at present ranked No. 359 within the KenPom rating (out of 363), with losses by 35 to Oregon, 37 to Portland, 17 to Oregon State and 26 to Miami. FAMU’s lone win was a 70-65 extra time loss to Division II Albany (Ga.) final Monday.