Jan 6, 2018; Columbia, MO, USA; Florida Gators guard Chris Chiozza (11) puts in the game-winning layup against the Missouri Tigers during the second half at Mizzou Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Chiozza Steals The Show In Florida’s 77-75 Victory Over Missouri

The legend of Chris Chiozza added another volume as the senior’s game-winning scoop-and-score sealed a 77-75 victory for the Florida Gators over the Missouri Tigers in Columbia on Saturday afternoon. Chiozza scored all 13 of his points in the second half, adding 6 assists throughout the contest. The Gators ended the game on a 7-0 run in the final minute and 10 seconds.

Missouri’s Jordan Barnett finished with a career-high 28 points on 8-13 shooting from the field, sinking 6 of his 9 attempts from beyond the arc. Keith Stone added 9 points in the second half, scoring 13 total points. Jalen Hudson led Florida with 16 points, despite playing only 27 total minutes.

Kevarrius Hayes’ defense was key for the Gators, as the junior center finished with four total steals. Hayes has now recorded 10 blocks and 5 steals in the team’s past three games. He also notched 10 points and 8 rebounds vs. Missouri.

Jan 6, 2018; Columbia, MO, USA; Florida Gators guard Egor Koulechov (4) shoots a free throw during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Mizzou Arena. Mandatory Credit: Amy Kontras-USA TODAY Sports

Final Five Thoughts

  • 1. Free Throws
    • Florida’s 17-25 (68%) performance from the charity stripe nearly cost them the game. The contest was reminiscent of the Gators’ 2015-2016 season, when the team shot an awful 63% from the line. UF did knock down 12 of their 16 second-half free throw attempts, but needed to be better overall.
  • 2. Keith Stone, Always Smooth
    • For just the second time in his career, Keith Stone has scored 13 points or more in back-to-back games. The last time he did it was January 10 and January 14 last season against Alabama and Georgia. Stone’s ability to knock down shots from inside and beyond the arc opens up the floor for the rest of his teammates. He’s also down a good job of setting screens, both on and off the ball, leading to better opportunities for his fellow Gators.
  • 3. Missouri’s Height Advantage
    • Until John Egbunu and Isaiah Stokes return from injury, they’ll simply be outmatched in the interior by most average-to-tall teams. When Florida tried to double-team the Tigers in the interior, it just led to wide open threes for Missouri. While most teams don’t shoot at as high of a clip as the Tigers, open shots are open shots.
  • 4. Second Half Adjustment
    • Mike White and the Gators completely changed their defense in the second half. Florida started to meet Missouri’s guards beyond the three-point line in an attempt to take away the long ball in the final twenty minutes. While Mizzou still shot 50% in the final frame, it was an improvement for Florida’s defense. The Tigers killed the Gators in the first half, sinking 6 of 9 attempts from downtown.
  • 5. Make The Easy Shots
    • Florida only finished 11 of their 19 attempted layups, leaving easy points at the rim. The Gators grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, but only turned those boards into 7 second-chance points. UF will not get second-, third- and even fourth-chance point attempts against better interior teams. They need to capitalize on the bunnies and make the easy shots.

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