UF MBK: Ole Miss 70, Florida 54

SJB Pavilion at Ole Miss| Oxford, Miss.
Box Score<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_documents_2022_1_24_2022-5F01-5F24-5FUF-5Fat-5FOle-5FMiss.pdf&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=ynI8vLxiZA_7Pj0cgaUXKMdV6KR3E2AojhKA9y1YG60usGbvxSGzoVBfzCDIIwjZ&s=uBW4utxKjvBtjveGBJQo4l2Fk8VYMlMGC-56qPTlosk&e= > | Season Stats<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_documents_2021_11_9_2021-5F22-5FUFStats.pdf&d=DwIFAg&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=ynI8vLxiZA_7Pj0cgaUXKMdV6KR3E2AojhKA9y1YG60usGbvxSGzoVBfzCDIIwjZ&s=f6Lyl2xRf8NCS6dB6XUPqXQDtugwQhf-V7ZH8Nl4XhI&e= >

Records: Florida 12-7 (3-4 SEC); Ole Miss 10-9 (2-5 SEC)
Next up for Florida: at #18 Tennessee, Wednesday, 6 p.m., ESPN2


  *   The Gators couldn’t overcome a depleted frontcourt and a 4-for-29 shooting night from 3-point range.
     *   UF was missing Colin Castleton (shoulder) for the third consecutive game, as well as CJ Felder (non-COVID illness).
  *   Jason Jitoboh was a bright spot for the Gators, matching his career high with 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field. In his three starts since Castleton went out with injury, Jitoboh is averaging 9.3 points and 5.7 rebounds and shooting .800 (12-for-15) from the field.

Head Coach Mike White
On his thoughts about the game, especially in the second half…
“I thought we were in a really good place at halftime. I felt really good about our chances having not shot it well. Ole Miss made us a little stagnant there in the first half and they extended their defense especially mid-to-late first half. We thought we played a little more downhill in getting going offensively. Again, I didn’t hate our looks. We missed some you have to make on the road, but to hold Ole Miss to 22 in the first half, we were locked in defensively. Credit Ole Miss early in the second half, they went on an 8-0 run if I’m not mistaken. We didn’t quite recover. To give up 22 in one half and 48 in another, I’m not sure I’ve been a part of that. Very disappointed in our second-half defensive effort, but I thought Ole Miss had a lot to do with that, of course. I thought Kerm did a good job with some play calling at times. They obviously jumped up and made some shots. Their baseline out of bounds offense took advantage of a couple mistakes that we made. Ruffin got to the line and we couldn’t keep him out of the paint. Murrell was fantastic. Their assist-turnover, their ball security, their decisions… They were really clicking offensively in the second half.”
On the team’s three-point shooting performance…
“I don’t know that I can put a finger on it. I thought we had some looks. On the road in a tough environment when the other team is making a run, sometimes you can put a little bit more heat on yourselves mentally than you should. That said, I don’t know how, defensively, we could be that good in one half and struggle that much in the second half. We can sit here and talk about shots and that’s part of our bigger issue… You’re either locked in or you’re not. We’ve all got a conscience and these guys play with a conscience. When you’re executing defensively, when you’re executing on the glass, when you’re taking good shots, and you’re getting stops, sometimes it just goes in at a higher percentage. We also continue to, and hopefully we don’t do it again moving forward, give in at times when it’s not going in. We’re going to continue to get in the gym, we’re going to get in the gym tomorrow, but a lot of it is mental toughness. It just is. Guys with a lot of mental toughness, with courage and with confidence, tend to shoot it better. But, that same level of mental toughness in terms of struggling to make shots, is also shown in our inability when things are going against us to get stops.”

#33 Jason Jitoboh, Junior Center
On what the team can take away from this game…
“We just have to put a whole 40 minutes together. We just have to come out in the second half stronger. And if they are going to run, we just have to take that and throw our own punches.”

On what went wrong in the second half defensively…
“They’re a good team, and I feel like they made shots. We had some defensive miscues, but we just have to learn from that, grow from that, watch film and get better for our game against Tennessee.”

On missing Colin Castleton and CJ Felder…
“It’s hard to replicate what Colin does and it’s hard to replicate what CJ does because he’s our everything guy – he can do a little bit of everything. So, it was definitely tough not having CJ because he could have helped us in this game. But, hopefully he’ll be ready for next game or the game after that.”