GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Colin Castleton returned to the lineup and scored 17 points to spark Florida's 62-57 overtime win over Mississippi on Saturday.
In overtime, Phlandrous Fleming Jr. had a couple of steals for Florida, the second one leading to a jumper by Castleton that gave the Gators a six-point lead, 56-50, with 1:27 to go. A three-point play by the Rebels' Luis Rodriguez made it 59-56 with 14 seconds left, but the Gators closed it out with a series of free throws by Tyree Appleby.
Florida opened the second half with an 11-1 run, taking a 32-31 lead on a pair of free throws by Castleton. Mississippi missed 12 of its first 14 shots but trailed only 40-38 at the under-8 media timeout. Florida extended its lead to six but Mississippi tied it on a jumper by Tye Fagan with 54 seconds left, the last points of regulation.
Castleton, in his first game back since missing six games with a shoulder injury, added seven rebounds and three blocks. Appleby and Fleming scored 10 points each for Florida (15-8, 5-5 Southeastern Conference).
Fagan led Mississippi (12-11, 3-7) with 15 points. Matthew Murrell had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Nysier Brooks had 11 points to go with nine rebounds.
It was Mississippi’s first full game since losing freshman point guard Daeshun Ruffin to a season-ending knee injury. Ruffin, who was averaging 12.6 points and 3.4 assists, also missed eight games early in the season with a broken hand.
Florida hosts Georgia on Wednesday and plays at Kentucky on Saturday.
Mississippi hosts Alabama on Wednesday and plays at Missouri on Saturday.
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