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Florida 84, Troy 45: Gators snap Trojans, finish off no-loss November

Florida came to play early and locked down late in its lopsided win.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Florida Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Florida broke from the gates with a 13-0 run that put Troy on its back foot in Sunday’s contest in the O’Dome.

It never really got any closer than that, with the thoroughbred Gators running away from the plodding, mistake-prone Trojans for a 84-45 win that was maybe most notable for being the backdrop to reports that Florida was finalizing a deal with its next head football coach.

All five Florida starters finished in double figures, with Myreon Jones pouring in all 12 of his points that led all scorers on four threes in the first half. Colin Castleton’s 10 points came with eight rebounds; Phlandrous Fleming’s 11 came with six.

Brandon McKissic added 10 points of his own off the bench, but Florida’s pair of freshmen — Kowacie Reeves and Elijah Kennedy — had a combined 14 points to star for the bench on this day, and 10 of the 12 Gators to see the floor scored, with Florida draining 13 total threes spread among six shooters, five of whom drained multiple treys.

Troy, on the other hand, shot 13 percent from three and just 32 percent from the floor, turning the ball over 21 times. About the only trouble they gave the Gators came on the offensive glass, where they had 13 boards, and on a couple of fouls by Desmond Williams, who earned a technical after jawing with Keyontae Johnson following a turnover in the first half and a flagrant foul after pushing an airborne Tyree Appleby on a layup attempt in the second half.

Appleby, who sprang up from the floor visibly agitated and eager to confront Williams before being held back, was given a technical for that — and then coolly made two free throws.

The moment appeared to reinvigorate a Florida defense that had let itself ease up for a while in the second half. After its own free throws, Troy would score just more 10 points in the final 12:29 of play.