The Florida Gators are 2-0 after defeating Kennesaw State 88-78 Friday. The Gators were led by a career high thirty three points from senior center Colin Castleton. The Owls dropped to 1-1 on the season with the loss.
The game opened with action flowing back and forth. KSU jumped out to a 12-8 lead before Florida began to run away with things the remainder of the half. Castleton’s layup with 11:35 put the Gators ahead 14-12 before the lead swelled to as many as fourteen multiple times in the first half (last: 42-28, 1:20). The Gators entered the halftime break with a ten point lead at 44-34.
Florida opened the second half with back to back buckets by Kyle Lofton to again stretch the lead to 14. The Owls would cut that deficit in half with 13:56 left after Chris Youngblood knocked down a wide open three. Lofton responded with a three and the Owls would never get that close again.
Lofton fouled out following a technician foul with 12:21 to play. The senior point guard was animated after not getting a call and was teed up for his fifth foul.
Despite playing without its starting point guard, Florida managed to grow the lead from eight to as many as 17 with 2:20 in regulation.
A block by Jason Jitoboh with 4:55 left tuned into a three pointer by Kowacie Reaves on the other end in a key sequence late in the game.
The Gators shot 55% from the field including 4-11 from 3-point range. Florida also held Kennesaw State to just 43% and 6-17 from beyond the arc.
In addition to Castleton’s thirty-three, Will Richard added 15 points and Reaves chipped in 11 more. CJ Felder contributed 7 points and six boards.
The Gators will face another Owls team on Monday as Florida Atlantic comes to Gainesville for a 7:00 PM tipoff. FAU is 1-1 and averaging 81 points per game thus far this season.