Men's Basketball Falls to Gators in Preseason Contest

Written by: Will Johansen, Sports Information Assistant

Freshman Bakari Warthen lead the 'Fish offensively in his PBA debut. (Photo courtesy of Ron Irby)Freshman Bakari Warthen lead the 'Fish offensively in his PBA debut. (Photo courtesy of Ron Irby)

Box Score

GAINESVILLE, Fla.- The Sailfish men’s basketball team participated in a preseason opportunity of a lifetime, playing in front of over 8,000 fans at the Stephen O’Connell Center on the campus of the University of Florida Thursday night. The ‘Fish unfortunately fell to the Gators, but the final score of 89-42 doesn't tell the whole story. For the Sailfish, the story of the night were freshman Bakari Warthen and newcomer Osandai Vaughn. The two combined for 27 of the Sailfish 42 points.

The game opened up with a momentum swing in favor of the ‘Fish, as Bakari Warthen flushed down an impressive alley-oop from Lucas Morales to give the Sailfish a 2-0 lead, but that was the largest lead the Sailfish would hold the entire evening.

From that point on the Gators scored the next 12 points to seize a double-digit lead, a lead they’d never relinquish. A jumper from Cory Kenning with 11:10 left in the opening half cut the margin back to seven but the Gators responded with a layup from KeVaughn Allen to push the lead back to nine to start a quick 7-0 in just 54 seconds.

The teams would head to the locker rooms with the ‘Fish trailing 39-21.

The second half wouldn't be much better for the ‘Fish, as the Gators were helped by a 25-4 run that lasted over eight minutes of game time and saw the Blue and Orange score 20 unanswered points.

Warthen ended the game with 14 points and five rebounds, knocking down six-of-10 from the floor and connecting on two-of-five from long range. The Sailfish only made three from deep in the game while the Gators hit 11-of-27 from downtown.

Vaughn added 13 points and five boards off the bench, scoring drive points at the free throw line, making five-of-seven from the charity stripe. The Youngstown State transfer made four-of-12 from the field.

The Sailfish shot just under 30 percent in each the first and second half, shooting a combined 29.4 percent on the night, hitting 15-of-51 from the floor.

The ‘Fish didn’t help themselves by committing 30 turnovers, which lead to 30 points for the Gators. But they weren't alone, as they were able to force the Gators to commit 23 turnovers of their own, in which the Sailfish were able to capitalize with 16 points.

The ‘Fish ended the game scoring 20 points in the paint, and were helped by 21 points from the bench.

The Gators had five players reach double-digit scoring figures on the night, and were lead offensively by Devin Robinson’s 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The Sailfish open the regular season next Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. as they host Ave Maria University in the Rubin Arena.

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