National Basketball Association
Florida 85, North Florida 55
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Where: Billy Donovan Court at Exactech Arena, Gainesville, Florida
Officials: # Terry Wymer, # Terry Oglesby, # Steven Anderson
Attendance: 7705

Colin Castleton's career-best 26 points and eight rebounds helped host Florida cruise to an 85-55 victory over North Florida Wednesday night in Gainesville, Fla.

Castleton provided the No. 20 Gators (7-2) with a much-needed bounce back victory following an embarrassing 69-54 loss to previously-winless Texas Southern just two nights earlier.

Florida, which snapped a two-game losing streak, stormed out to an early 17-6 lead and led wire-to-wire, increasing the advantage to as many as 32 points in the second half.

The Ospreys (2-9) lost for the fourth time in their past five games and have yet to defeat a Division-I opponent this season. UNF lost for the 11th time all-time against the Gators and remained winless against their in-state foe.

Jarius Hicklen led the Ospreys with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting.

The Gators' defense made the difference from the outset as their pressure contributed to the Ospreys committing 18 of their 28 turnovers in the first half. Florida converted those giveaways into 33 points and plenty of fast break opportunities and a 28-7 edge in fast break points.

The Gators finished with 21 steals overall led by Tyree Appleby's four takeaways.

Appleby finished with 13 points, while Myreon Jones totaled 14 points and four rebounds.

North Florida outrebounded Florida 39-36, but the Gators outscored the Ospreys 48-26 in the paint, and had 10 dunks overall.

The Gators shot 29-for-65 (44.6 percent), thanks largely to those easy transition scores. Florida was also able to draw more trips to the free throw line where it finished 22-for-30 (73.3 percent).

The Gators still struggled from 3-point range though, shooting only 5-for-23 (21.7 percent).

Jadyn Parker had 12 points and nine rebounds for North Florida, which shot 18-for-53 (34.0 percent) from the field and 5-for-21 (23.8 percent) from 3-point range.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
North Florida   Florida
Jarius Hicklen 16 Scoring Colin Castleton 26
Chaz Lanier 2 Assists Anthony Duruji 3
Jadyn Parker 9 Rebounds Colin Castleton 8
Jarius Hicklen 3 Free Throws Made Colin Castleton 8
Dorian James 2 Steals Tyree Appleby 4
Jadyn Parker 1 Blocks Colin Castleton 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
North Florida 55 34.0 5-21 14-20 6 34 1 7 28
Florida 85 44.6 5-23 22-30 14 34 3 21 10