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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Undefeated Florida looks to conquer Troy

The Gators look to ride the high of the Fort Myers Tip-Off championship

Florida's 2021-22 men's basketball team, pictured during a Nov. 14 game against Florida State
Florida's 2021-22 men's basketball team, pictured during a Nov. 14 game against Florida State

The orange and blue strolled out of Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida, with a shiny new championship trophy in hand. 

The 5-0 squad now sets its sights on Troy. 

The No. 23 Florida Gators (5-0) square off against the Troy Trojans (4-2). Both teams roll into Gainesville coming off noteworthy victories, and this marks the second matchup between the programs. 

Florida captured the Fort Myers Tip-Off championship Wednesday versus Ohio State. The gutsy win is primarily thanks to guard Tyree Appleby. The senior secured the game-winning bucket as the buzzer sounded, a deep three which sent the Gators bench into a frenzy and Appleby into the media bench.

Forward Colin Castleton made his mark in the tournament as well, earning the title of MVP. The 6-foot-11 senior grabbed his sixth career double-double Wednesday with 11 points and 13 rebounds. The former Michigan Wolverine managed three double-doubles in his first five games to open the season. 

On the other hand, the Trojans defeated the Florida Atlantic University Owls 83-78 in overtime Monday. Historically, FAU leads the series 10-7, but this time, Troy walked away with the Paradise Classic crown.

Freshman guard Duke Deen led the black, silver and cardinal with 17 points. Fellow freshman guard Duke Miles trailed closely behind with 16 points. 

The Trojans took a commanding lead in the final frame and didn’t look back, and the rest is history. 

UF hopes to stay undefeated, looking to increase its record to 6-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season. 

Tip off is set for noon in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The game can be streamed on ESPN

Contact Karina Wilson at kwilson@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @kk_rinaa.

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Karina Wilson

Karina Wilson is a third-year student at the University of Florida within the College of Journalism and Communications with a specialization in sports and media. She aims to produce engaging, accurate and current content for all types of sports fans. Currently, Karina is The Alligator's men’s basketball beat writer.


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