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Florida rallies big in 2nd half, beats Oklahoma State 81-72

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Tyree Appleby scored 13 of his season-high 21 points in the second half as Florida rallied after the break and beat Oklahoma State 81-72 on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

After trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, Florida outscored Oklahoma State 49-27 in the second, shooting 50% (9 of 18) from the floor and forcing 12 turnovers. The Gators also made five 3-pointers, were 26-of-32 (81%) shooting from the line and blocked six shots after halftime.

Appleby finished 5 of 10 from the floor with three 3-pointers. Phlandrous Fleming Jr. added 14 points for Florida (13-8), which ended a two-game skid. Kowacie Reeves had 11 points and Anthony Duruji 10.

Isaac Likekele scored 14 points and Bryce Thompson had 12 for Oklahoma State (10-10).

The Cowboys led 32-16 with 6:28 remaining in the first half and built a 45-32 halftime advantage. They shot 63% (19 of 30) from the floor and were 7 of 10 from long range. Keylan Boone and Thompson each had nine points on three 3-pointers.

But in the second half, the Cowboys shot 7 of 24 (29%). Boone took just one shot and missed.

Myreon Jones' 3-pointer gave Florida its first lead of the second half, 58-56, with 8:38 remaining. The Gators pushed it to 72-63 with 1:46 left.

The Gators are 4-0 against the Cowboys in a series that dates to 1993, and are 6-3 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Oklahoma State will look to end a three-game losing streak when it plays at Kansas State on Wednesday. Florida is on the road against Missouri on Wednesday.

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Updated January 29, 2022

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