Tyree Appleby came off the bench to score all 15 of his points in the second half to lead Florida to a season-opening, 76-69 win over Army on Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
The Gators denied the Black Knights their best start in six years.
Tre Mann scored a game-high 19 points and Keyontae Johnson added 16 points for the Gators, who withstood a late charge by Army (3-1).
The Knights had three players score in double figures -- Lonnie Grayson (13), Josh Caldwell (12) and Jalen Rucker (12).
The Gators ended the game on a 9-0 run after Army took a 69-67 lead on Grayson's 3-pointer with 2:45 remaining. Florida tied the game on its next possession when Appleby made two free throws.
Florida won the game on the free throw line. Scottie Lewis' two free throws on the Gators next possession gave Florida a 71-69 lead with 1:40 remaining. Mann secured the victory by making 5 of 6 attempts in the final 39 seconds to secure the win.
Florida fell behind as many as 12 points in the first half, largely because of Army's hot 3-point shooting in which the Black Knights made six of their first 12 attempts from beyond the arc.
But after trailing 39-31 at halftime, the Gators seized momentum early in the second half. The Gators opened on a 12-3 run to take their first lead of the game, 43-42, on Appleby's 3-pointer with 15:16 remaining, prompting Army to call timeout.
Army rallied to take a brief 54-52 lead on Grayson's 3-pointer with 9:42 remaining, but Florida scored the next seven points to take a 59-54 lead before Army tied the game at 60 on Caldwell's three-point play with 5:01 remaining.
Army, which had won its first three games to open a season for the first time in five years, got off to a great start. The Black Knights opened on a 12-2 run, with Rucker hitting two 3-pointers and a layup in a little over the first three minutes.
--Field Level Media