Gameday: No. 4/5 Florida Gators at Missouri

Location: Mizzou Arena – Columbia, MO [Capacity: 15,061]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Holly Rowe)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

No. 4/5 FLORIDA GATORS MISSOURI TIGERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Frank Haith
Record: 21-3 (11-1 SEC) Record: 18-7 (7-5 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -5 | O/U 138.5

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida and Missouri played for the first time ever on Jan. 19 with UF picking up an 83-52 victory in the inaugural meeting in Gainesville, FL.
» Mizzou is undefeated at home this season (14-0) and beating SEC opponents in Mizzou Arena by an average of 14 points per game.
» Four Gators starters are averaging double figures in scoring. The Tigers have six players that score in double digits, all of whom play more than 24 minutes per game.
» Florida is 46-3 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (20-2 in 2012-13).
» Missouri has scored at least 71 points in three-straight games and four of its last five.
» The Gators are 4-1 against top-25 opponents this season after going 3-5 against ranked adversaries last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams.
» UF is outscoring SEC opponents by an average of +22.8 points per game.
» Florida senior forward Erik Murphy (.500) and freshman guard Michael Frazier II (.506) are chasing school history and looking to become the most proficient single-season three-point shooter ever at UF (Kenyan Weaks – .508).
» The Gators are second nationally in scoring margin (+21.7), third in scoring defense (52.6), sixth in field goal percentage (.497) and field goal defense (.371), eighth in three-point shooting (8.9 per game) and assist-turnover ratio (1.42), 13th in assists (16.3), 16th in three-point percentage (.395) and 17th in rebound margin (+7.1).
» Florida is also sixth nationally in fouling, committing 14.0 per game.
» The Tigers are fourth nationally in rebound margin (+10.2), 20th in free throw percentage (.750) and 21st in scoring offense (76.5).

Read the rest of the Florida-Missouri preview with much more after the break!

WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH

FLORIDA
In what may be the Gators’ toughest test for the duration of the regular season, Florida heads into Missouri on Tuesday against a team that is undefeated at home and finally at full strength. The Gators have struggled in hostile environments so far this season, collapsing against then-No. 8 Arizona on the road on Dec. 15, 2012, falling one week later to Kansas State and getting routed at Arkansas on Feb. 5. Beating talented opponents away from home is something Florida needs to learn how to do prior to entering tournament play, and Tuesday’s game is as good an opportunity as any for UF to prove that it can do just that.

» Junior forward Casey Prather (#24) is being asked to play extended minutes in place of an injured Will Yeguete (knee) for the second straight season, and his returns have been overwhelmingly positive over the last three games. Prather is 14-for-20 since Feb. 9, averaging 10 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in just shy of 20 minutes of action each contest. Against a big and talented Mizzou frontcourt, Prather will be counted on greatly to provide quality minutes off the bench and great effort in the paint.

MISSOURI
Four games back in the SEC standings and still bothered by a blowout loss to the Gators last month, the Tigers have everything going in their favor as they look to pull off the upset on Tuesday. Not only is Missouri’s second-leading scorer and second-best rebounder back in the fold, the Tigers get to play in front of a boisterous crowd that has helped the team remain undefeated at home throughout the 2012-13 season. Though it is late in the season, Mizzou could use a big win over UF as a catalyst both over its final five regular season games and in the SEC Tournament. As of press time, Florida is the only SEC team likely to receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament; taking down the league’s crown jewel could help Missouri make a case come Selection Sunday.

» Senior F Laurence Bowers (#21) missed five-straight games in January and was a big missing piece for the Tigers back when they faced the Gators on Jan. 19. Now that he has returned, Missouri has its best three-point shooter (.441) and one of its most efficient offensive players (.543) back in the starting lineup. Bowers averages 14.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, each second-most on the team behind Jabari Brown and Alex Oriakhi, respectively. He helps complete a Mizzou lineup that had a glaring hole in it exactly one month ago.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Senior G Kenny Boynton is in his fourth year as a starter for the Gators. He is quickly making his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists and is already first in school history in three-point field goals made (315) and attempted (912) and career starts (129). He currently leads the SEC in career points (1,902) and three-pointers among active players and is sixth all-time in SEC history in three-pointers made.

Career scoring
1. Ronnie Williams – 2,090 points
2. Andrew Moten – 1,930 points
3. Kenny Boynton – 1,902 points

Minutes
1. Erving Walker – 4,358
2. Kenny Boynton – 4,269

Field goal attempts
1. Stacey Poole – 1,578
2. Andrew Moten – 1,572
3. Kenny Boynton – 1,549

Field goals made
1. Ronnie Williams – 772
7. Udonis Haslem – 633
8. Kenny Boynton – 622

Games played
1. Walter Hodge – 151
7. Lee Humphrey – 136
8. Kenny Boynton – 132

Assists
1. Erving Walker – 547
9. Taurean Green – 397
10. Kenny Boynton – 370

Boynton is also approaching the top 10 in free throws made (seven away – 343).

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One Response to “Gameday: No. 4/5 Florida Gators at Missouri”

  1. Swell Miguel says:

    Once again, UF can’t close in a tight game. Could that have really been Donovan’s play call at the end?

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