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Osborne’s effort not enough as FSU’s run vs. UF ends

GAINESVILLE — All good things must come to an end. And on Sunday, on the road against a veteran, transfer-filled Florida team, Florida State’s streak came to a halt.

Malik Osborne scored 18 points, pulled down six rebounds and had three steals but often he had no wingman, no guard or big man to help him along the way and No. 20 Florida State fell to Florida 71-55. Osborne had back-to-back 18-point performances to start the season, shooting 6 of 10 from the floor on Sunday, but the rest of the team was only 14 of 42 (33.3 percent).

The Gators ended the Seminoles’ seven-year run in the series. Mike White picked up his first win at UF over the Seminoles.

Colin Castleton had 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Gators (1-1). Florida used a 13-0 run to take a 56-44 lead with 8:19 to go and the Gators were in control the rest of the way.

“They turned it up a notch,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said of Florida’s stretch midway through the second half. “I don’t think we matched their execution and intensity. They played with a lot more connectivity than us. … Our youth and inexperience were showing.”

Some of FSU’s weaknesses were brought to light early. The Seminoles (1-1) recovered from a dreadful 1 of 10 start from the floor, but veteran guards Rayquan Evans, Anthony Polite and Caleb Mills struggled to produce buckets. The trio combined for 10 points on 3 of 17 shooting.

“They contained the dribble so much better than anybody we have played in a long time,” Hamilton said.

Polite had seven rebounds but didn’t make a shot until there was 13:14 left in the game, while Mills picked up two fouls early in the first half.

With Tanor Ngom back home with an injury, FSU also lacked an effective big man at center. Naheem McLeod played just seven minutes, making only a free-throw attempt, and Quincy Ballard did not play. Osborne was often the biggest man for FSU on the court and leaned on for production.

FSU also had 17 turnovers and just 10 assists. The Seminoles shot 20 of 52 (38.5 percent) from the floor, 7 of 15 (46.7 percent) from 3-point range and just 8 of 15 (53.3 percent) from the free-throw line.

The game had some bright spots, learning experiences for a roster filled with veterans, transfers and newcomers that are still meshing. Matthew Cleveland had 11 points and six rebounds, while John Butler had eight points and two blocks.

Wyatt Wilkes had five second-half points, but he also picked up two early fouls.

FSU started 1 of 10 from the floor but settled in and shot 10 of 15 the rest of the way in the first half. Osborne had 12 points and three rebounds as FSU grabbed a 30-28 lead.

Anthony Duruji also had 15 points on 5 of 8 shooting for the Gators, who shot 24 of 62 (38.7 percent) from the floor and 8 of 28 (28.6 percent) from 3-point range.

Hamilton said he had no update on Ngom’s availability for FSU’s next game.

Up next

FSU will play host to Tulane on Wednesday at 8 p.m. (ACC Network). The Seminoles will then play a pair of games over in the Jacksonville Classic, beginning against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the UNF Arena.