The University of Florida and Florida State have displayed one attribute in common this season: bouncing back from their only two-game losing streaks.
Since losing to South Carolina and Vanderbilt three weeks ago, the 17th-ranked Gators (19-5, 9-2 in the SEC) have won five in a row, three by 32 points or more and four by 22 points or more. UF goes for its second-longest winning streak of the season on Saturday when it plays host to Texas A&M (13-10, 5-6) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at noon.
No. 14 FSU (21-4, 9-3) is after its fourth consecutive victory on Saturday at Notre Dame. In the three games following consecutive losses to Georgia Tech and Syracuse, the Seminoles have dispatched Miami, Clemson and N.C. State by 18 points or more.
Florida’s average score during its current winning streak is 88-61. Florida State’s average is 93-63.
The Gators and Seminoles are not only winning, but they’re playing their best basketball of the season. UF is shooting .467 in the last five games, and holding its opponents to .345. FSU is shooting .554 in its last three games and holding opponents to .430.
On the average, UF and FSU are out-rebounding opponents, have fewer turnovers and a higher assist-to-turnover ratio.
While both teams are getting contributions from multiple players, some are emerging from the pack. Gators’ point guards Kasey Hill and Chris Chiozza are operating a high level, with Hill averaging 14.5 points and 5.2 assists over the last five games and Chiozza averaging 7.6 points, 7.0 assists and 6.2 rebounds. Chiozza had a triple-double against Missouri and Hill matched his career-high in points with 21 against Kentucky.
Dwayne Bacon is averaging 21.0 points over FSU’s three-game winning streak, Terence Mann is collecting 10.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and is shooting 63 percent and Xavier Rathan-Mayes is averaging 9.0 points and 5.6 assists.