Tyree Appleby hit a 3-pointer on the buzzer and No. 23 Florida beat Ohio State 71-68 within the Fort Myers Tip-Off championship recreation on Wednesday night time.

The complete Gators bench stormed on the court docket for a wild celebration after Appleby’s shot went in. Players had been dancing at midcourt awaiting the beginning of the trophy celebration.

“It was like a movie,” Appleby stated. “Once I hit the shot, I felt my teammates right there with me. Probably one of the best moments of my college career, really my life.”

Appleby was 1 for 9 taking pictures earlier than he related as time expired.

“He’s a gutsy guy,” Florida coach Mike White stated. “He’s got a high level of confidence. He’s the type of guy that makes that type of shot.”

Florida (5-0) received 19 factors from Phlandrous Fleming Jr. Colin Castleton had 11 factors and 13 rebounds.

E.J. Liddell scored 23 factors for Ohio State (4-2). Kyle Young picked up his fifth foul halfway by the second half and completed with 11 factors.

“It was a game we really had to be resilient and respond,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann stated. “It was an ugly at times but extremely physical.”

Florida reached the title recreation after Castleton scored 16 factors and Appleby added 15 in an 80-60 win over California Monday night time.

Ohio State gained its opener on the tourney when Meechie Johnson Jr. made a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left to beat No. 21 Seton Hall 79-76 on Monday night time. Liddell had 28 factors in that recreation.

On Wednesday night time, Liddell related on two free throws and Jamari Wheeler grabbed an offensive rebound that led to Zed Key making considered one of two free throws to place Ohio State up 68-66.

Anthony Duruji tied it at 68 with a dunk within the remaining minute, organising Appleby’s game-ender.

Liddell hit a 3 after which blocked a shot to arrange Malaki Branham’s layup as Ohio State took a 63-56 lead with 5 minutes left.

Ohio State grabbed its largest lead, 47-37, with 13 minutes left when Jimmy Sotos drove into the paint for a unfastened ball and whereas on the bottom made a cross to Key for a slam.

“Our guys showed a lot of grit,” White stated. “A tough-nosed group that just found a way. It wasn’t real pretty in a lot of areas for about 30 minutes. I thought the last 10 we executed at a better rate.”

After Florida scored the subsequent 5 factors, Key blocked Myreon Jones’ layup attempt, however the Gators received inside 51-49 when Holtmann was known as for a technical and Fleming made two technical and two common free throws with 9 minutes remaining.

Holtmann stated he was “obviously disappointed” about getting the technical. He additionally was known as for one in Monday’s recreation.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Florida: Could transfer up in subsequent week’s ballot.

Ohio State: Even in defeat, the Buckeyes confirmed that they’re near being an AP Top 25 staff even when they fall out of the rankings.

FROM THE LINE

Florida had a big edge on the free-throw line, making 23 of 33. Ohio State had 20 makes an attempt and made 13.

ERRORS TO POINTS

The Gators scored 22 factors off 18 Ohio State turnovers. Ohio State produced 10 factors off 11 Florida turnovers.

UP NEXT

Florida: Returns dwelling to face Troy Sunday.

Ohio State: Hosts No. 5 Duke on Tuesday night time.