GAINESVILLE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Senior Malik Osborne scored a team-high 18 points and freshman Matthew Cleveland scored 11 points as the No. 19/20 Florida State Seminoles fell short at Florida, 71-55. Osborne contributed three steals, while redshirt senior Anthony Polite grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. The Seminoles’ seven-game winning streak against the Gators, which began in 2014, ended this afternoon at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Florida’s defense forced Florida State away from its attacking style of defense early in the game.
Freshman John Butler, Jr. contributed back-to-back 3-point shots and a block to tie the game at 15 before the eight minute media timeout. Osborne then made his first 3-pointer of the game to give the Seminoles their first lead of the game at 20-17. Their largest lead came after another 3-point shot by Osborne, which put the Seminoles up 30-26 as halftime drew closer.
Florida State went into the locker room with a 30-28 lead at the end of the first.
In a game that saw 14 lead changes and nine ties, the Gators reclaimed the lead once and for all at the 12 media timeout of the second half. Florida maintained a 12-point lead until Cleveland made a 3-poin shots to bring the Seminoles to within nine at 56-47.
Unfortunately, that was not enough for the Seminoles, as the Gators took a 64-50 margin with 4:15 left in the game.
Florida State shot .380 from the field and .470 from the three-point line. The Gators shot .390 from the field and only .290 from the three-point line. The Seminoles were outrebounded 44-33 but showed its depth with 22 bench points, while the Gators only had 12 bench points.
With today’s performance, Osborne has scored 36 points (18.0 ppg) in the first two games of the season. He is four of seven (.571) from the 3-point line and 10 of 16 (.625) from the field in the first two games of the season.
Butler is five of six (.833) from the field in his first two collegiate games of his career. With two blocks this afternoon, he totals three blocks on the season.
Polite now averages 7.0 rebounds with a total of 14 rebounds and has 19 points (9.5 ppg) in two games against Penn and Florida. Senior RayQuan Evans led the team with three assists and is averaging 4.0 apg this season.
Florida’s Colin Castleton and Anthony Duruji led the Gators with 15 points each, as four Gators scored in double digits. Castleton also grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked six shots against the Seminoles. The win was head coach Mike White’s first victory over Florida State as Florida’s head coach.
The Seminoles look to get back on track at home this Wednesday, Nov. 17 against Tulane. The game will tip-off at 8pm and be aired on the ACC Network.