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Instant Analysis: Florida unable to overcome three-point barrage

January 11, 2020
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Florida entered Mizzou Arena hoping to stay undefeated in conference play while the Tigers hoped to find their first win in the SEC, the latter prevailed as Missouri (9-6, 1-2) beat the Gators (10-5, 2-1) 91-75. 

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WCC: Florida-Missouri Game Thread

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Here’s the Instant Analysis

What Went Wrong: Tonight wasn’t a matter of Mike White’s team unable to defend indomitable shooters. It was a matter of Florida finding the wrong night to beat a Mizzou team that makes shooting 70 percent from three a usual occurrence. The fact of the matter is that the Tigers should never have had this type of night -- they’re not a three-point team. But they found their shot early and continued to push their lead as the ball found the bottom of the net from beyond 25 feet. 

The Gators, for what it was worth, made an attempt to come back. They forced the Tigers into foul trouble early, entering the bonus with over 13 minutes remaining in the second half, but as the found themselves returning to the free-throw line, the Tigers continued to respond with more shots from deep. 

Who Stole the Show: Not a single Missouri player made the difference tonight -- the whole team did. Seven different Tigers made a three and four found themselves scoring double-digits. Dru  Smith led the way for the home team, finishing the night with 22 points and adding six assists. Another Mizzou player named Smith, this one Mark, led the team with three threes made. 

It was another night of Kerry Blackshear heroics, but this one was all for naught as his team could never find an answer to stop Mizzou’s three-point barrage. He had 22 points and outside of Noah Locke’s 4-of-6 night from the perimeter, the rest of the team could not match the Tigers’ output from deep. 

The Bottom Line: This wasn’t Florida’s night. They were against a team that simply played better at all levels. Florida lost the game with early turnovers and poor interior defense but there was no stopping how well Missouri shot from deep. 

But the score doesn’t indicate how well Florida performed. They shot 43.5 percent from deep -- but 38.5 from the floor. Could they have won had they been able to convert more shots in the paint? Most likely, but that does not diminish their improvement shooting the ball from deep. 

It’s past time to call losses like these growing pains. This team is young but after 15 games, the team needs to put more wins together if they’re to outperform expectations heading into the post-season. 

What’s Next: Mike White continues his search for his hundredth win coaching the orange and blue as he and the Gators head home to take on Ole Miss Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

 

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Instant Analysis: Florida unable to overcome three-point barrage

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