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Monday, September 26, 2022

No. 14 Gators set sights on the Sooner State

Florida head coach Mike White and company look to remain undefeated

<p>Florida&#x27;s Phlandrous Fleming matches up against Florida State&#x27;s Matthew Cleveland during a Nov. 14 game. </p>

Florida's Phlandrous Fleming matches up against Florida State's Matthew Cleveland during a Nov. 14 game.

The Florida Gators men’s basketball team handled the Troy Trojans with ease Sunday, defending the O’Dome by shooting the lights out in an 84-45 victory. Now, the Sooners pose a new potential threat.

The No. 14 Gators (6-0) confront the Oklahoma Sooners (6-1) Wednesday in Norman, Oklahoma. Each program won its most recent game, however, UF leads the all-time series between the two schools 3-2. 

Florida sent Troy back to Alabama flustered Sunday. Guards Myreon Jones and Tyree Appleby lead the team with a combined 24 points. Appleby sank a perfect four-for-four from the free-throw line, while Jones recorded four assists. 

The matchup marks the orange and blue’s first game outside of the Sunshine State this season. Forward Anthony Duruji said this poses a new challenge.

“We’re focused on growth and getting better,” Duruji said. “That’s our standard. We want to max out as a team.” 

The Sooners won’t go down without a fight, either. The crimson-clad hosts suffered their only loss this season to Utah State in a nail-biter that ended unceremoniously 73-70. 

Senior Tanner Groves leads head coach Porter Moser’s squad with an average of 14.6 points per game. The 6-foot-10 star accounted for nine points in Oklahoma’s 65-62 victory over the University of Central Florida. Guard Jordan Goldwire fell second on the team with 11 points, but the Duke transfer filled the stat sheet by collecting four assists, four steals and seven assists. 

UF head coach Mike White acknowledged Oklahoma has a stacked roster. He said the orange and blue are prepared to remain competitive night in and night out. 

“I think every team has a different identity, a different level of chemistry and selflessness and togetherness,” White said. “This team just happens to have that.” 

The Gators hope to push their record to 7-0 for the sixth time in program history and the first since the 2012-13 season.

Tip off is slated for 8 p.m. in the Lloyd Noble Center. The game can be streamed on Bally Sports Sun and Bally Sports Florida

Contact Karina Wilson at 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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