Florida will be without standout forward Colin Castleton when it visits Arkansas in a key Southeastern Conference game on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.
Castleton, who owns team-best averages in points (16.0), rebounds (7.7) and blocks (3.0), is out indefinitely after breaking his right hand early in the second half of the Gators’ 79-64 win against visiting Ole Miss on Wednesday.
Jason Jitoboh, who is 6-foot-11 and 300 pounds, replaced the 6-11 Castleton and finished with four points and two rebounds in 17 minutes against the Rebels.
Jitoboh averages 2.4 points and 1.3 rebounds playing a little more than nine minutes a game.
“He played 12 straight minutes to end the game — incredible effort,” Florida coach Todd Golden said. “To be honest, I didn’t know that he was going to be able to do that. I thought we were going to have to get him a rest around eight, try to stretch him out, but he looked great out there. I thought he did a wonderful job defensively.”
Florida (14-12, 7-6 SEC) led Ole Miss by 10 at halftime and by as many as 18 in the second half. Five Gators scored in double figures.
Myreon Jones went 5 of 7 from 3-point range to finish with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Will Richard and Kowacie Reeves added 13 points apiece. Riley Kugel contributed 12 points and Kyle Lofton had 10 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
“Florida played a really good last 15 minutes of the game against Ole Miss,” Arkansas coach Eric Musselman said. “Todd Golden is a very good coach. They have a talented roster.”
With Castleton out, Richard (10.3 ppg) is the only Gator averaging double figures, although Lofton (8.9) and Reeves (8.7) are close.
Arkansas (17-9, 6-7), which has reached the Elite Eight in each of the past two seasons, is in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament after a 62-56 loss at Texas A&M on Wednesday.
The Razorbacks led 53-51 with 5:54 left before the Aggies ended the game on an 11-3 run to deal Arkansas its second straight loss.
Davonte Davis, who averages 11.2 points per game, scored 14 points versus Texas A&M.
Makhi Mitchell, who contributes 7.2 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game, finished with 11 and nine, respectively, against the Aggies.
But no other Razorback scored more than Anthony Black’s nine points — four below his average. Leading scorer Ricky Council IV, who averages a team-best 16.5 points per game, was limited to six points on 3-for-12 shooting.
–Field Level Media