No. 5 Florida looks to halt skid vs. No. 17 Cincinnati (Dec 09, 2017) – FOXSports.com
NEWARK, N.J. — Reeling No. 5 Florida will attempt to get back on track Saturday when it faces No. 17 Cincinnati in the second game of the Never Forget Tournament at the Prudential Center.
It’s the first meeting between Florida and Cincinnati (7-1).
The Gators (5-3) have lost three straight games, including a surprising 65-59 home loss to Loyola-Chicago on Wednesday. Prior to that, Florida was upset 83-66 by Florida State on Monday. The slide began with an 87-84 loss to No. 1 Duke on Nov. 26, when Florida blew a 17-point lead in the second half.
During that span, Florida is shooting just 36.6 percent from the field (45 of 123) and 18.2 percent from 3-point range (8 of 44), with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 14 to 25.
“We have to get in the gym,” Florida coach Mike White told gatorsports.com. “We have to take better (ones), we have to help each other get open. If we start out 0-for-5, we have to have more mental toughness to be able to make sure we continue to keep taking good ones and continue to have confidence in ourselves.
“We’ve proven we can shoot at a high level, and it’s right there in front of us — step up and make shots.”
Despite the rough stretch, the Gators still have the SEC’s highest-scoring offense (90.2) and also lead the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6) and free-throw percentage (.765). Chris Chiozza leads the SEC with 6.1 assists per game, while Egor Koulechov’s .958 free-throw percentage tops the league.
Florida’s four 100-point games are tied for third-most in a season in school history. The Gators had five such games twice previously (2000-01, 2001-02) and also had two prior seasons with four (1986-87, 2003-04).
Bearcats coach Mick Cronin is downplaying the Gators’ recent struggles.