Colin Castleton finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and blocked five shots Saturday afternoon to lead Florida to an impressive 85-80 road win over No. 11 West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Morgantown, W.Va.
Castleton's impressive play inside and the sharp shooting of Noah Locke, who finished with 19 points and went 4-for-7 from 3-point range helped the Gators (10-4) win their fourth consecutive game -- their longest streak of the season.
West Virginia (11-5) fell despite forward Derek Culver recording his eighth double-double of the season with 28 points and 12 rebounds.
But Culver, who shot 6-for-6 in the first half was held to seven points in the second half as the Gators countered West Virginia's size with the 6-foot-11 Castleton and the forward trio of 6-7 Osayi Osifo, 6-10 Omar Payne and 6-11 Jason Jitoboh.
Scottie Lewis hit a key 3-pointer to give the Gators the lead for good with 4:08 left. On their next possession, Castleton nearly lost the ball, but regained the handle, drove to the basket, scored and drew a foul. He made his free throw to extend the advantage to 81-75.
Sean McNeil, who scored 21 points off West Virginia's bench, hit one of his five 3-pointers to cut the deficit to three, and Culver's layup closed it to 81-80 with 1:40 remaining.
But that would be all for the Mountaineers, as Castleton hit a pair of free throws for Florida and Tyree Appleby followed with a key deflection that led to a shot clock violation by the Mountaineers with 28.8 seconds remaining.
Appleby then put the game out of reach with two more free throws. Appleby finished with 12 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Florida shot better overall from the field 48.1 percent to West Virginia's 39.7 percent and converted 25 of 30 free throw attempts while the Mountaineers made 22 of 31.
Miles McBride, who made the clutch 3-pointer to beat Texas Tech in West Virginia's previous game, struggled from the field, making only 3 of 15 shots and finished with nine points. Taz Sherman totaled 11 points.
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