FSU basketball (1-1) looked to win their eighth consecutive game against the rival Florida Gators (2-0) Sunday afternoon. However, the inexperience on offense showed, and Florida took home the 71-55 win.
The Noles got off to a slow start with only one offensive field goal (1 of 10) in the first eight minutes of the game. Florida’s defensive effort was impressive, and the Noles settled for several poor shots. However, the FSU offense began to settle in around the mid-way point and made some shots.
They struggled from the free-throw line, only making 4 of 9, but was 4 of 7 from beyond-the-arc. Malik Osborne continued his strong play with 12 first-half points to give the Noles a 30-28 halftime lead.
UF shot 34 percent from the floor but had an edge on the offensive boards of 8 to 4 that helped keep the game close.
The second half began much like the first, with FSU struggling from the field. However, two Malik Osborne free-throws and a Wyatt Wilkes three-pointer gave the Noles a 35-32 lead with 16:58 remaining.
Florida answered with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to tie it at 35-35. It remained a tight game, with both teams struggling to find any offensive rhythm. A Colin Castleton offensive rebound and put-back gave Florida a 45-44 lead with 9:57 remaining.
That bucket gave Castleton a double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds). Florida scored the next seven points to give Florida a 52-44 lead with 8:38 remaining. The Noles never got closer as Florida finally ended their seven-game losing streak against the Noles.
FSU is still trying to figure out things on the offensive end, and they can’t afford wasted possession against good defensive teams. It sucks to lose against a rival, but it’s a game they can use to continue working on things to prepare for conference play.
FSU shot 38 percent and only 8 of 15 from the free-throw line. UF won the battle of the offensive boards and was better at the free-throw line. Malik Osborne and Matthew Cleveland were the only Noles in double figures. FSU will be back in action Wednesday night, hosting Tulane at 8 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.
FSU basketball: Noles fall to Florida Gators on the road