GAINESVILLE, Fla. • Ole Miss got more play-making from its guards, but the Rebels didn’t make the biggest plays at the biggest times.
And Colin Castleton made plays all night for Florida.
The Michigan transfer had 21 points and 10 rebounds to rally the Gators to a 72-63 win over the Rebels at Exactech Arena on Tuesday night.
Equally important for Florida was Castleton’s seven blocked shots and the others he affected with his 6-foot-11 wingspan.
“The guy intimidated us around the goal,” Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. “He protected the rim like a good center does. He’s playing great for them right now.”
Ole Miss centers Khadim Sy and Romello White combined for only three rebounds.
The Rebels (6-5, 1-3 SEC) surrendered a nine-point lead in the second half. Ole Miss was ahead 61-52 after the Rebels forced a turnover, and Devontae Shuler hit a layup.
Florida (6-3, 3-2 SEC) rallied and reclaimed the lead on a transition 3-pointer by Noah Locke with 2 minutes, 34 seconds left.
The Gators closed the game on a 14-0 run.
An Ole Miss comeback in the final seconds was complicated by a technical foul against Davis that resulted in a four-point possession with Gators guard Tre Mann hitting two regular free throws after two technical free throws.
The Gators went from a three-point advantage to a 70-63 lead with 48 seconds left.
Davis was arguing the previous Ole Miss possession when the Rebels failed to secure an offensive rebound.
“I thought it was over the back and no call. I wish I hadn’t gotten it. Usually they don’t call technicals that late in a one-possession game, but he did. That was my fault,” Davis said.
Ole Miss shot just 40 percent in the first half but was shooting 67 percent for the second half until going cold at the end. The Rebels finished at 37.9 percent in the second half.
Shuler led Ole Miss with 19 points. After an 0 for 9 shooting performance against LSU he was 7 for 14 from the floor, 2 for 5 from 3-point range.
“We didn’t finish the game the way we started, and it put us in a bad position at the end,” Shuler said. “They had more juice than us in the last 5 minutes of the game.”
Ole Miss returns home to play Georgia on Saturday at 11 a.m.
No. 7 Michigan 77, No. 9 Wisconsin 54: Mike Smith had 16 points and six assists to lead another dominant performance by the Wolverines (11-0, 6-0 Big Ten).
Michigan is the first team in college men’s basketball history to beat three ranked opponents in a row by at least 19 points.
D’Mitrik Trice led Wisconsin (10-3, 4-2 with 20 points.
No. 20 Virginia Tech 74, No. 19 DuKe 67: Tyrece Radford had 18 points and 12 rebounds – his first double-double of the season – to lead the Hokies (10-2, 4-1 ACC).
Jeremy Roach led Duke (5-3, 3-1) with a game-high 22 points.