Florida defeats Stony Brook 81-45 in season opener

It’s basketball season in Gainesville. The Todd Golden era got off to a fast start on Monday night as the Florida Gators cruised by Stony Brook, winning 81-45 in the opening game of the 2022/2023 season. 

“I thought we did a really good job of playing with purpose for 40 minutes,” Todd Golden said during his postgame interview. 

Florida’s defensive presence kick started this game; Stony Brook went over six minutes without scoring a single point. This trend continued for most of the game as Florida allowed just 45 points in 40 minutes of basketball. Colin Castleton contributed heavily to this effort, blocking four shots in the first half alone. Florida finished the game with eight steals and forced Stony Brook to shoot 30.8% from the field. 

Florida jumped out to a 22-3 lead to start the game before being outplayed 19-16 to end the first half. Florida rushed several three-point shots in the first eight minutes, leading to 3 of 15 shooting from three in the 1st half. The Gators cleaned this up in the 2nd half, connecting on 7 of 10 threes after halftime. 

Florida finished the game shooting 47.5% from the field and 40% from three. 

LSU transfer Alex Fudge led the charge for Florida tonight, scoring 16 points on 6-12 shooting. Fudge displayed his ability to knock down the three ball as well, connecting on 2-4 attempts. He looked comfortable in his role and his athletic ability is undeniable. 

Will Richard was my MVP of the night. Richard played efficient basketball, scoring 14 points on just five shots. He was 2-3 from the three-point line as well. Richard led the Gators with a plus/minus of +27. 

Colin Castleton played well despite going up against tall and lengthy Stony Brook centers. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, and four blocked shots. His ability to effect shots at the rim makes him so valuable to this basketball team. Even if he’s not blocking the shot, he’s making it harder for opposing teams. 

Todd Golden placed an emphasis on rebounding upon his arrival in Gainesville. Florida out-rebounded Stony Brook 44 to 28 tonight. 

We saw eleven players play serious minutes tonight. Golden said Kyle Lofton and Colin Castleton will be the two guys that play a lot of minutes for this team. Everyone else will depend on how they are playing in the game. 

Florida Walk Ons got a piece of the pie tonight; Jack May and Alex Klatsky both found the stat sheet, erupting the crowd in the process. 

Defense and three-point shooting led the Gators to a victory and a hot start to the “Golden Era”. 

Florida is set to take on Kennesaw State on Friday night for the Gators 2nd game of the 2022/2023 season. 


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.