Laurence Bowers had 17 points plus 10 rebounds and Missouri erased a 13-point deficit midway through the second half to rally past 5th ranked Florida 63-60 on Tuesday night. Phil Pressey added 10 assists, seven points, six rebounds and three steals for teh Tigers who improve to 19-7, 8-5 SEC. The Tigers improved to 15-0 at home this season. They are 30-1 the last two seasons under coach Frank Haith.
Three key stats in the game came from the free throw, three point line and points in the paint. Florida missed five straight free throws in the second half, three times on the front end of one-and-ones. The Gators made six of 12 foul shots overall. Missouri was 12 of 15.
Florida started 5 of 10 from long distance, but finished 5 of 23 after Missouri switched up their defense, by changing their ball screen defense. Frank Haith said the plan was to try to do different things on defense to keep them off balance.
Haith also said the Gators want to get the ball in the paint, and the Tigers did a great job of limiting inside points. Mizzou outscored the Gators 24-16 in the paint.
AUDIO Postgame with Laurence Bowers, Phil Pressey and Frank Haith (12:00)
Phil Pressey did the things that makes Phil Pressey great. Pressey didn’t take a shot in the first half and made his first shot from the wing with just over 14 minutes to go. He had a couple of highlight reel assists. On one, he wrapped a pass around a defender to set up a Bowers’ dunk, which capped a 12-0 run that cut Florida’s lead to 49-48 with 8:02 to go, but it wasn’t until Bowers’ jumper from the key put Missouri up for good at 61-60 with 1:15 to go.
Keion Bell made two free throws after he was fouled following a Florida miss. The Gators had one final chance to tie, but Kenny Boynton’s wide open three from the corner was no good.