LAKELAND, FL – Florida Southern College men's basketball head coach Mike Donnelly has announced that his squad will square off with the University of Florida when the Moccasins head to Gainesville to take on the Gators in an exhibition contest at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the O'Connell Center.
"It's always very exciting to play a high-caliber program like Florida," said Donnelly. "We have an opportunity to be able to showcase our own program on the national stage against the Gators. With Gainesville only a few hours way, I know we'll have a lot of Florida Southern fans in attendance. We can't wait to get up there and play!"
The Mocs and Gators last played an exhibition contest on Nov. 1, 2013, when Florida came away with a 110-88 victory. Florida Southern and Florida have played a number of exhibition contest over the past four decades, but have not met in the regular season since Dec. 8, 1980 when Florida snagged a 72-62 victory.
Southern finished 21-11 a year ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II South Regional after upsetting top-seeded Morehouse while the Gators went 21-13, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division I Tournament as the No. 6 seed in the South Region before bowing out to Texas Tech.
Florida has a long tradition of facing teams from the Sunshine State Conference in exhibition play as a run-up to the regular season. The Gators have hosted an SSC foe for their exhibition contest in each of the past five seasons, taking down Tampa in last year's game by a 94-57 final.
The Moccasins return all five starters from last year's squad, including all-conference selections Jonathan Lawton and Brett Hanson, while UF brings back three starters from last year. Florida Southern last faced an NCAA Division I foe in an exhibition contest during the 2015-16 season when it traveled to Duke and Syracuse.
Florida Southern opens the regular season at home against West Alabama in the annual SSC-GSC Classic at Jenkins Field House. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9.