Photo by Mark Brown | Getty Images

The Florida Gators are proving to be one of the most exciting teams to come through Gainesville in quite a while. On Monday, the team pulled off an 80-60 rout of the California Golden Bears to open the Fort Myers TipOff.

Florida was led by big man Colin Castelton who finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds while Tyree Appleby (15), Myreon Jones (13), and Phlandrous Fleming (11) each reached double figures in the points column as well.

Much of the first half was back and forth between the two squads as it was knotted up at 17 with 8:36 remaining. But the Gators got hot before the intermission. Florida made five three pointers (including three from Jones) down the stretch to extend their lead to 46-27 by the break.

Castleton and Appleby took over in the second half, combining for 18 of the Gators’ points in the period. Every time it looked like the Bears were going to make a run, Florida hit a dagger, like Elijah Kennedy’s three with 15:06 to go. The Gators controlled momentum thoughout the game and never let the lead drop below 19 over the final few minutes, despite rotating in the guys on the bench.

Florida shot 52% from the field and made 8-19 from three-point range. They also turned the ball over just twelve times while forcing Cal into 18 turnovers.

Florida will face Ohio State on Wednesday to complete the tournament in Fort Myers. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:30 and will be broadcast live on FS1.

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