NCAAB: Florida rides second-half surge to win over Florida St.

Colin Castleton recorded 25 points and nine rebounds on Friday as Florida dominated the second half en route to a 76-67 rivalry win over Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Gators (3-1) trailed by 17 points at halftime before erupting in the final 20 minutes, beginning with a 33-5 run to open the second half.

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In all, Florida outscored Florida State 50-24 after intermission, as Castleton scored 19 points and Will Richard tallied 11 of his 13 points in the final session.

Caleb Mills scored 21 points and Matthew Cleveland and Darin Green Jr. each chipped in 14 to pace the Seminoles (0-4), who missed all 10 of their 3-point attempts in the second half and finished 3 of 16 from beyond the arc. They also committed 16 turnovers.

Florida State dominated the first half by shooting 48.4 percent from the field, making 3 of 6 shots from outside the arc and sinking 10 of 11 from the foul line. Florida, meanwhile, shot just 27.6 percent in the opening half and missed 11 of its 12 attempts from beyond the arc.

The Gators went more than nine minutes without a field goal until Kowacie Reeves drained a 3-pointer with about six minutes left in the half. That bucket brought Florida within 24-16, but Florida State scored 14 of the next 20 points to expand its advantage to 38-22.

Green tacked on a jumper and a 3-pointer in the final two minutes of the half to help the hosts take a 43-26 advantage into the break. Green led all scorers with 12 first-half points.

However, the second half followed a different script — and quickly.

Florida’s Trey Bonham made a 3-pointer in the opening minute to ignite an early 9-0 run. After Mills converted a three-point play for Florida State, Castleton responded with 13 points in a five-minute stretch to fuel the Gators to a 52-48 lead.

Richard’s 3-pointer with 10:42 remaining gave the visitors their first double-digit cushion at 59-48.

The hosts got back within five with under five minutes left, but the Gators rattled off six straight points — three apiece by Kyle Lofton and Castleton — to regain the momentum.

–Field Level Media

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