Head coach Billy Donovan could not have asked for a better performance out of the No. 9/10 Florida Gators (14-2, 4-0 SEC) on Saturday as the team earned him his 400th career victory at the school with an 83-52 blowout victory over the No. 16/17 Missouri Tigers (13-4, 2-2 SEC) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Donovan, with a record of 400-160 (.714) at Florida, watched on as the Gators outworked and outplayed the Tigers in every facet of the game.
Senior forward Erik Murphy scored a team-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting (3-of-5 from downtown) for Florida, which was fueled by a double-double (13 points, game-high 10 assists) from junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin.
Senior guard Kenny Boynton and junior F Will Yeguete also scored in double figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Junior center Patric Young chipped in nine points with game-highs of eight rebounds and three blocks.
Missouri, which was without star Laurence Bowers (MCL), struggled offensively but was led by G Jabari Brown’s game-high 16 points.
The Gators outshot the Tigers from the field (.593-.327) and beyond the arc (.421-.250), won the rebounding battle 35-25, registered 21 assists on 35 made baskets and blocked seven shots.
Florida also outscored Missouri in the paint (48-14), off turnovers (34-12), on second chances (11-1), on the fast break (16-2) and off the bench (23-8).
The Gators led wire-to-wire, scoring the first 11 points of the game and never allowing the Tigers to even tie up the score.
Florida and Missouri went head-to-head in men’s basketball for the first time ever. The new SEC East rivals will square off again before the conclusion of the regular season.