Florida Basketball: Gators hold Aggies to seven free throws and still lose

Coming into last night’s contest, one of the keys to the game for Florida basketball was to keep Texas A&M off the free-throw line. The Aggies are eighth in the country in drawing fouls per possession, with opponents fouling on 29.4% of A&M possessions.  During their first meeting on January 4, Florida sent Texas A&M to the free throw line 28 times in a game decided by three points.

The Gators were successful this time around in keeping A&M off the line. The problem is that neglected their offensive duties and couldn’t recover from imploding in the first half.

Florida Basketball: Sometimes it is how you start

On the Florida Gators’ website, their preview of last night’s contest had the headline “Gators’ Next Goal: Show Up on Time,” and Florida senior writer Chris Harry wrote:

Florida has managed to put together a three-game winning streak in SEC play, despite slow straights in all five league games, and would like to see some better results from the jump, starting with Wednesday night’s road game against conference-unbeaten Texas A&M.

Oops.

Not only did Florida basketball not show up on time, they had one of the most inept offensive first halves of basketball possible at the division one level.

The Gators shot the ball 26 times in the first half.

The ball went through the hoop twice.

To paraphrase the movie Major League, TWO?!?! Two *** **** baskets.

“Hey Ben, you can’t say *** **** on Hail Florida Hail.”

Who cares, no one’s listening.

Yes, I realize people are paying attention, but gymnastics did outdraw basketball last weekend, so there’s that.

Back on track.

The only reason this game stayed close was that Florida did a great job on the defensive side to not put A&M on the line. The Aggies were held to 23 points in the first half themselves despite shooting 40%. However, Texas A&M didn’t attempt any free throws in the first half.

Colin Castleton finished with 14 points, along with 13 rebounds and six blocks to allow the Gators to have a shot from Myron Jones at the end of the game that would have won it.

But alas, Florida basketball lost a game where it held Texas A&M to seven free throws and 54 points.

There are signs that Todd Golden is willing to try different things rather than bury his head in the sand as Mike White did, but scoring 52 points in a game is something that would have made White proud.