The Florida Gators were searching for the first SEC win of head coach Todd Golden’s career. Trailing 65-63 with :7 seconds to play, point guard Trey Bonham was called for a questionable offensive foul that essentially ended the contest in Texas A&M’s favor.
With the loss, the Gators fall to 7-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Florida actually opened the game with a 1-0 lead prior to the tipoff. Texas A&M arrived without their jerseys, forcing a nine minute delay to the game and setting up a technical foul free-throw.
The momentum didn’t carry over for long, though. Entering halftime, Florida trailed the Aggies 34-23. The Gators made just nine shots from the floor and committed just as many turnovers in the opening period of play.
Florida came out of the break quick, starting with a 8-0 run that closed the gap to 34-31. After back and forth action throughout the second half, the Gators finally took their first lead since early in the first half with 5:49 remaining (54-53).
After a pair of free throws by Colin Castleton with 1:24 remaining cut the deficit to two, the Florida big man got a steal and took it to the basket himself to even the score at 63.
TAMU took the lead as Wade Taylor hit a jumper with :42 seconds left in regulation. A made free-throw put the Aggies ahead by the final of 66-63.
Statistically, Florida was the better team in this game. Florida shot a higher percentage from the floor, beyond the arc, and at the free-throw line and even grabbed one rebound more than the Aggies. The Gators, however, turned the ball over twenty times which A&M turned into 21 points.
Bonham led Florida with 21 points on the night on 8-13 from the field and 4-7 from three-point range. Castleton was the only other double-digit scorer, finishing with 14 points and five boards.
The Gators will have a quick turnaround when they host Georgia Saturday. The game will feature the return of former Florida head coach Mike White, who accepted the Georgia job after last season. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 PM tip.