The Florida Gators earned a victory over Ohio State in dramatic fashion in the Fort Myers Championship game.
The clock ticks under 10 seconds with the score tied at 68. Myreon Jones fights for a long rebound on the far sideline.
Corralling the loose ball, he advances the ball up the court to guard Tyree Appleby , who’s been struggling shooting the ball at just 1-9 on the night.
He takes one dribble before setting his feet. He pulls up with confidence. From deep. BANG!
The buzzer sounds, and the ball splashes through the hoop almost simultaneously.
The Florida Gators reigned victorious in dramatic fashion Wednesday night against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fort Myers Tip-Off championship game.
Scoring just eight points on the night, Appleby’s final three proved to be the difference in the back-and-forth contest. Despite growing visibly frustrated following another layup attempt rolling around the rim and falling out in the back half in the second period, Appleby gathered himself to make back-to-back game-changing plays.
The buzzer-beater three is a prominent difference-maker, but an alley-oop lob to Anthony Duruji on the previous possession to make it a tie game was equally as significant.
The set was drawn up beautifully by head coach Mike White to get the Gators high flier in space without an impediment to the rim.
Led by Phlandorus Fleming Jr ’s two-way brilliance, the Gators were able to overcome a poor shooting night for the team — at under 37% for the contest — and hoist themselves over the Buckeyes.
Fleming accounted for 19 points, three steals and two rebounds in 33 valuable minutes for the Gators off the bench.
Making up for a slow night for leading scorer Colin Castleton , 11 points and 13 rebounds, Fleming proved why he was so highly regarded when in the transfer portal from Charleston Southern.
Florida has seen a new face produce heavily in the scoring department in each game this season, a testament to their depth, maturity and unselfishness to defer to the hot hand.Fleming was an instrumental part in forcing a talented Ohio State offense to forfeit possessions through turnovers. He and Jones combined for seven of the Gators 13 steals on the night.Jones finished the night with seven points, four steals and three rebounds.Florida’s relentless pressure and full-court suffocation forced 18 Buckeyes turnovers on the night. It was a deciding factor in the close contest. Thoughts The Gators have proven so far this season to play hard-nosed basketball.Despite their 4-0 record, Florida had produced double-digit victories across the first four matchups, imposing their will on the opponent from start to finish.UF showed flashes of being a legit contender and was on the brink of asserting themselves as the real deal in college basketball.Against Ohio State, it didn’t come as easy as it had in their previous matchups. White’s squad found themselves down 10 points in the second half, a deficit that would have resulted in defeat in recent years.However, the Gators showed the grit to fight through adversity against one of the best […]