Florida basketball: Gators pull off upset over No. 2 Tennessee

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida Gators guard Myreon Jones (0) dribbles against Tennessee Volunteers guard Santiago Vescovi (25) during the first half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on Feb. 1, 2023 in Gainesville, Florida.

With a torrid start and a strong finish, Florida pulled off its biggest win of the Todd Golden era, upsetting No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 before an announced 10,160 at the O'Connell Center.

"It's a little bit of a culmination of the work that the guys have put in," Golden said. "This team has been through a lot of ups and downs."

Colin Castleton fueled the upset, finishing with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. Kyle Lofton added 14 points and 4 assists.

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Florida jumped to an early 17-4 lead. The Gators maintained a 27-21 lead into halftime but found themselves down 44-38 before mounting a second half comeback.

Down 46-42, Florida took control of the game with a 13-0 run. The Gators regained the lead, 47-46, on a transition layup by freshman Riley Kugel. Castleton then scored Florida's next five points before a 3-pointer by Lofton put Florida up 55-46 with 5:12 left.

"The game was ugly but we fought back," Lofton said. "We didn't let it discourage us."

Defensively, Florida held Tennessee to 27.9 percent shooting from the floor.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.