Instant Analysis: Double-digit SEC road victory

Florida 79 - Missouri 67

by Joseph Torviso
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Two teams struggling in SEC play this season matched up looking for some type of momentum. Although it was close in the first half, Florida held onto a comfortable lead and won 79-67. While the Gators earn their second win in SEC play, the Tigers have yet to win one.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Florida’s Riley Kugel scored a fadeaway jump shot right in front of the logo. This put a dagger through Missouri’s heart and gave Florida an 11-point lead, its largest of the night. The Gators kept their double-digit cushion the rest of the game and coasted to victory.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: Florida had no answer for Tamar Bates. The Indiana transfer had a career day going 13-of-21 and 9-of-9 from the free throw line in scoring 36 points. Bates looked like he was having fun out there. He knew the Gators couldn’t stop him and enjoyed every moment. The Junior scored more than half of Missouri’s points.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE: Coming into the game, Florida was shooting 32.6% from three. This evening, the Gators were a completely different team. They shot 55.6% from three in the first half. Florida did slow down a bit in the second half, but still finished the game with a respectable 41% from three-point land.

THIS MATCHUP PROVIDED KEY: Micah Handlogten against the Missouri big men. Handlogten has been fantastic all year averaging 7.3 rebounds a game. Tonight, he took it to another level, grabbing 13 boards. He also scored 10 points, which was above his 6.3 average this season.

WHAT A PLAY: Jordan Butler’s reverse layup was a thing of art. With 10 seconds left on the shot clock, the forward caught the ball in the corner. Handlogten played some good defense, but the seven-foot Tiger scored a ridiculous layup. It was his only points of the first half.

UP NEXT:  The (12-6, 2-3) Gators are back home on Wednesday to take on conference opponent Mississippi State (13-5, 2-3). They look to earn their first back-to-back wins in SEC play this season. Florida will play Missouri again this season on February 28, at home.

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