Slow start proves costly for Florida in loss to Texas A&M

The Florida Gators had a chance for their first quad 1 victory against the Texas A&M Aggies on Wednesday night but fell short after the worst offensive display in the Golden Era, losing 54-52 in College Station. 

The Gators made just two of 26 shots in the first half (7.7%) and connected on one of 11 three-point attempts (9.1%), scoring 12 points in the first 20 minutes of play. 

Although shooting and scoring drastically improved in the 2nd half, Florida finished the game with just 52 points on 26.2% from the field, season lows for both statistics. 

TAMU’s defense should be praised as they were sound for 40 minutes. However, the Gators had chances to set the tone early on, finding open three-point shots with consistency and missing them. 

Florida’s defense put together another elite performance, holding the Aggies to 54 points on 35.5% shooting and 18.8% from three. The Gators have proven to be one of the best defensive teams in college basketball. However, their offensive woes, particularly early in games, have held them back.

Todd Golden’s halftime adjustments have been spot-on as of late.  Castleton headed into the locker room with just one point on two shots. He finished the game with 14 points, 13 rebounds, and six blocks.

The Gators showed a lot of fight tonight, bringing it down to the last shot of the game after a miraculous Myreon Jones three pointer and an Aggies turnover. The final shot was less than ideal, as Jones appeared to look for a foul, launching up an unbalanced three-point attempt for the win.

Trey Bonham, Jason Jitoboh, and Kowacie Reeves are on short leash. Bonham and Jitoboh made it through just one rotation before being pulled for the rest of the game. Reeves logged 12 minutes in the contest.

Colin Castleton logged 38 minutes tonight, playing the entire second half. Unfortunately for the Gators, it looks like the depth of this team is fairly limited. It appears as if Golden only trusts six players in crunch time. (Fudge, Castleton, Lofton, Jones, Kugel, Richard). It will be interesting to monitor the rotations going forward and seeing if Golden gives other bench players a chance to play.

This loss hurts Florida’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Although not impossible, the Gators have their work cut out for them if they want to play ball in March.

Florida’s offensive struggles in the 1st half need to come to an end if Florida wants to string a few more wins together.

The Gators have another road matchup this Saturday against the Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-6, 1-5 SEC). Florida will look to get back to a winning record in SEC play. Tip-off is at 8:30 pm on SECN.





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.