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No. 5 Florida Upset 65-59 By 17-Point Underdog Loyola-Chicago

If you thought it couldn’t get worse for the No. 5 Florida Gators, you’d be incorrect. The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers took down Florida, 65-59, at Exactech Arena on Wednesday night. Aundre Jackson was electric for LCU, adding 23 points on 10-12 shooting.

Loyola-Chicago shot 52% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. The Gators missed 9 of 11 three-pointers as Jalen Hudson, Egor Koulechov and KeVaughn Allen went a combined 9-35 from the field. Not a single Florida player entered double-digit scoring. Hudson and Chiozza led the team with 9 points apiece.

Florida will have two days off before taking on No. 17 Cincinnati in the Never Forget Tribute Classic on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center.

First Half

Loyola-Chicago jumped to an 8-4 lead at the under-16 minute media timeout. The Gators committed four turnovers in the first four minutes of play, leading to two easy three-pointers for the Ramblers.

LUC continued their offensive tear, sinking six of their first seven shots and three of their first four three-pointers. The Ramblers led 17-8 with 13:13 remaining in the first half.

Despite playing the 10th-best three-point shooting team in the country, Florida was slow off of their double teams early, leaving Loyola-Chicago wide open at the arc. The Ramblers made 11 of their first 17 shots attempts and held a 27-14 lead with 8:30 left in the first frame.

The Gators pulled within 5 points on a Chris Chiozza three-pointer with 6:16 remaining in the first twenty minutes. Florida opened the game one of five from long-range.

Halftime

UF closed the first half on a 9-2 run, but still trailed at halftime. Loyola-Chicago led 34-31 after the first twenty minutes of play. Aundre Jackson led all scorers with 13 points on 5-6 shooting, while Keith Stone notched a team-leading 6 points.

The Ramblers outshot the Gators, 50%-39%, from the floor and 63%-11% from beyond the arc. Florida knocked down just one of nine three-point attempts in the first frame.

LCU also outrebounded UF in the first half, 18-16. Jalen Hudson, KeVaughn Allen, and Egor Koulechov shot a combined 5-19 in the first twenty minutes.

Second Half

Florida took their first lead of the game since the 18:56 mark of the first half with 17:02 remaining in the second half. The Gators opened the final twenty minutes on an 8-4 run capped by a thunderous Kevarrius Hayes dunk.

Loyola-Chicago took back the lead after going on an 11-4 run. The Ramblers hit 6 of their first 10 shots to open the second half and led 49-43 with 11:47 remaining in the game.

Nearly three minutes of scoreless basketball for the Gators extended Loyola-Chicago’s lead to seven with just less than nine minutes left in the contest.

With 2:23 remaining in the game, Florida trailed by five points. Every time the Gators got close, the Ramblers had an answer going the other way.

Florida pulled within two points with 35.6 seconds left in the contest. The Gators never got closer, losing the game 65-59.

About Jake Winderman

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  • Matt Cook

    Its LUC by the way.