FINAL: FLORIDA 77, MISSOURI 75
GAINESVILLE, FL- In recent Gators basketball history has there been a more clutch player than Chris Chiozza? We all remember Chiozza’s floating three-pointer as time expired against Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen. On Saturday, Chiozza merely cemented his clutch legacy.
After Florida guard Jalen Hudson hit a pair of free throws with twenty-one seconds left to tie the game at 75, Tigers head coach Cuonzo Martin called time out. During the brief stop in play, Florida head coach Mike White emphasized the defensive strategy. Mizzou inbounded the ball, after holding the ball for a few seconds in an effort to attempt the last shot, Jordan Geist attempted a pass to Kassius Robertson near the top of the key, that’s when Chiozza sprung into action. Chiozza intercepted the pass and glided unopposed to the basket. Chiozza’s layup fell through the cylinder of the rim with only 0.1 remaining on the clock.
Florida’s resiliency showed off in the contest as the Gators fell behind early and often. Florida trailed by as many as twelve in the first half before finishing the period on a 12-3 run. The Gators trailed the Tigers 62-52 with just over ten minutes remaining, but again fought back. Missouri did appear to attempt to slow the game down, using much of the shot clock, but that strategy seemed to hurt more than help.
Florida appeared to be aided several times by the officials. Missouri freshman Jeremiah Tilmon fouled out with two very questionable (wrong) calls in only eight minutes of action on the court.
Hudson led Florida with 16 points while coming off the bench. Egor Koulechov finished with 15 while Chiozza and Keith Stone each added 13. Kevarrius Hayes had another solid effort, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds.
Mizzou senior forward Jordan Barnett scored a career high 28 points to lead the Tigers effort.
Florida returns home to face Mississippi State on Wednesday
Watch the final seconds of Florida’s win via CBS Sports’ Twitter account:
ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 6, 2018
- FLORIDA: 11-4 (3-0)
- MISSOURI: 11-4 (1-1)
After consecutive road contests the Gators will return home to face Mississippi State on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. The Bulldogs fell to in-state rival Mississippi on Saturday 64-58, but are 13-2 on the season. Junior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon leads MSU with a 14.8 points per game average. Weatherspoon also tops the Bulldogs stat book with 4.4 assists per game.
Florida vs Mississippi State
January 10, 2018
7:00 PM / Exactech Arena