Billy Donovan won his 400th game in style as his Florida Gator squad decimated the Missouri Tigers, 83-52.
The atmosphere was unbelievable in the O’Connell Center on Saturday as 12,597 filled the arena to the rafters. Those in attendance were treated to quite the performance from the outset when Scottie Wilbekin corralled the opening tip, then streaked to the hoop for a layup. The basket was the beginning of an 11-0 run to open the game, and Florida never looked back.
Missouri seemed discombobulated most of the day on the offensive end of the floor. Guard Phil Pressey was the picture of inefficiency, turning the ball over 10 times, accounting for almost half of Mizzou’s 21 giveaways. The Tiger’s got impressive output from Keion Bell and Jabari Brown who had 14 and 16 points each. Unfortunately for the visitors, they didn’t get much help from anyone else, shooting an abysmal 32.7% from the field as a team.
The loss of Laurence Bowers may have been a reason Florida found scoring in the paint so easy. The lack of a 6’8’’ forward in the lane for the Tigers was a crippling loss and showed in the box score as Florida outscored Missouri 48-14 in the paint. The loss is the Tigers’ second in three games, Bowers has been absent in all three contests.
On the injury front for Florida, Casey Prather was still sidelined with a high ankle sprain, but Florida was more than ok in his absence.
The Gators were incredibly balanced on offense with four players scoring in double figures, and also had two players on the cusp with nine points. The Gators outrebounded their guests 35-25 and had highlight after highlight all afternoon, including a Patric Young’s ankle breaker down low late in the game.
The route was officially on when fan favorite and walk-on Jacob Kurtz got into the action pleasing the rowdy reptiles that stayed till the final buzzer. The garbage time all-star hit an impressive turnaround jump shot to beat the expiring shot clock, and Michael Frazier II’s jam with 50 seconds left was a fitting exclamation point to a joyous day in Gator nation.
Florida hits the hardwood again Wednesday January 23rd on the road against Georgia.
More from Gamedayr>> Joakim Noah takes shot at Kevin Garnett, calls him a dirty player