Missouri upsets Florida as Gators collapse late

Another close game, another upset loss for the No. 4/5 Florida Gators, which blew double-digit leads in both halves before falling 63-60 to the Missouri Tigers on Tuesday evening at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO.

Florida (21-4, 11-2 SEC) fell to 0-3 in games decided by three points or less this season while Missouri (19-7, 8-5 SEC) remained undefeated at home and now boasts a 15-0 record on its court (7-0 in league play).

The Gators held a game-high 13-point lead on the Tigers with 10:41 left in the game but committed six fouls and five turnovers over the duration of the contest while allowing Mizzou to pull off the come-from-behind upset.

Forward Laurence Bowers, whose absence was felt in Missouri’s 31-point loss at Florida on Jan. 19, led all scorers with 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting. He also grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and proved to be a big-time problem for the Gators in the paint.


Florida jumped ahead by 12 early in the contest as its guards drained four consecutive threes as part of a 14-2 run that put the Gators up 18-6 with 12:28 left in the first half.

Maintaining an 11-point lead, Florida suddenly went ice cold from the field, missing its final eight shots of the half while going scoreless for the final 4:37 of the period. Mizzou responded by scoring eight unanswered points and trailed by just three at the half.

The Tigers immediately cut their deficit to a single point as UF missed a pair of baskets at the start of the second half including its ninth-straight from beyond the arc.

Finding their shooting stroke again, the Gators used a 15-4 run – including a pair of three-pointers by senior F Erik Murphy – to take a game-high 13-point lead with 10:41 left in the game.

Down but not out, Missouri immediately responded with an explosive 12-0 scoring stretch started by consecutive threes to get within one of the visitors as Florida committed a bevy of fouls and turnovers.

Still a one-point game with three minutes to play, the Tigers put together another big run, scoring six-straight points to take a 59-57 lead, their first of the night. However, Gators junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin drained a trey coming out of a timeout to put UF back on top 60-59 with 1:39 remaining.

Bowers connected on an elbow jumper to put Mizzou ahead 61-60, and a failed three-pointer by Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton with seven seconds left basically put the nail in his team’s coffin.

The Gators are allowed free reign from downtown by head coach Billy Donovan as long as they are taking open shots. Florida, which forced numerous attempts from beyond the arc on Tuesday, took 33 of its 54 shots from three-point land and made just 10 of those attempts.

UF was also outrebounded 28-40 by UM, which registered a 24-16 scoring advantage inside the paint. The Gators did not score a single second-chance point in the contest.

Redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario scored a team-high 14 points for Florida. Boynton posted 11 points but did so on just 4-of-13 shooting (2-of-9 from downtown). Junior center Patric Young, who was not in foul trouble on Tuesday, went just 1-for-4 with two points and three rebounds.

UF will look to shake off Tuesday’s troublesome performance as it prepares to take on the only other Southeastern Conference team to defeat it this season. Florida hosts Arkansas on Saturday at 7 p.m. in a contest that will air live on ESPNU.

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13 Responses to “Missouri upsets Florida as Gators collapse late”

  1. MAR says:

    Boynton is not who he thinks he is. He is not the guy to take late game shots in a pressure situation. Those two threes he missed late were bad decisions. I don’t think he has looked at his shooting percentage lately. That being typed, hopefully this lights a fire under these guys. They have to win big to win, because they are not so good at closing out close games.

  2. JohnJD says:

    Why no Frazier late in games? We must find someone besides Wilbekin who is “nails” in crunch time. The missed free throws, the rushed shots… The nervousness of this team is palpable. You see Kenny and know he is launching one no matter what his look at the hoop is. I love Kenny as a Gator, but we need more in the waning moments of tight games. Frazier or Prather maybe?

  3. Ken (CA) says:

    All I can say is wow…not as bad as Zona, but wow….I coulda sworn Walker was on the court again making decisions. No way even as they likely drop to a 2 or 3 seed they will lose before weet 16, but this a team that can win it all if they just get it, and apparently they don’t yet. Mizzou isn’t such a tough place to play that as good a team as this can be can’t win or they wouldn’t have been up 12 or more 3 different times. This is just sad that they cant put it together. They have all the pieces, even without Yeguette. Yeguette just makes them stronger, hope he comes back for tournies and has enough stamina at that point to be serious contributor. Sad loss. Dropped from potential #1 overall seed to a low 2 maybe a 3 seed.

  4. Mr2Bits says:

    No more Tuesday night games on the road West of the Mississippi please!

  5. cline says:

    No one wants to ever lose a game, but this teams needs some games like this in order to get better. #1 seed or not who cares. If you make it to the tourney you got the same chance as anyone else. GO GATORS!

  6. Joe Johnson says:

    “…The Gators are allowed free reign from downtown by head coach Billy Donovan as long as they are taking open shots. Florida, which forced numerous attempts from beyond the arc on Tuesday, took 33 of its 54 shots from three-point land and made just 10 of those attempts.

    … Boynton posted 11 points but did so on just 4-of-13 shooting (2-of-9 from downtown).”

    I’m totally surprised that a coach of Donovan’s expertise has got a better “picket fence” play set up and practiced to perfection than letting Boyton hold the ball to the last seconds before launching an out-of-control three. Especially if down by 1 or two points, drive Boyton to the paint and try to pull a foul where he is extremely accurate as a foul shooter.

  7. JW says:

    I thought this loss was fairly predictable given Missouri’s record at home, and the fact that you expect to lose a couple of tough road conference games during the season. That being said, the missed free throws and shot selection at the end of games are a concern.

  8. Crock says:

    I felt like I was watching one of their elite 8 losses again. Clearly the better team. Dominating all game. Then choke in the last 10 minutes. Have the last shot with a chance to tie or win and take a terrible 3 pointer

    • Ken (CA) says:

      I felt exactly the same way, that was my first reaction and why my comment earlier wondered if Erving Walker had snuck onto the floor.

  9. Joe says:

    The problem is we didn’t distribute the ball down low. That’s it. Find a way to feed the big men down low and the rest of our game will open up.

    Needs to be resolved soon.

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