Missouri Tigers vs. Florida Gators Pick & Prediction JANUARY 14th 2023

Stadium: Stephen C. O'Connell Center Gainesville
Logo Missouri Tigers
Logo Florida Gators

150.5o -105
-5.5 -110



No. 20 Missouri will look to regroup from a lopsided loss when it plays Florida in the second of two consecutive road games on Saturday in Gainesville, Fla.

The Tigers (13-3, 2-2 SEC) are coming off an 82-64 loss at Texas A&M on Wednesday when they were exposed defensively. Texas A&M shot 53.3 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from 3-point range.

Missouri was unable to rally after falling behind 43-25 at halftime.

"I don't know if there's a clear answer to why we didn't have as much energy until later in the game," said forward Kobe Brown, who led Missouri with 12 points. "I don't know. But I know we gotta fix it next game. Can't let it happen again."

Missouri's defense has allowed an average of 79.3 points during a three-game stretch, during which the Tigers have gone 1-2. First-year Missouri coach Dennis Gates said he felt poor shooting from the field (35.6 percent Wednesday) bled into the defensive struggles.

"Texas A&M did a good job contesting shots, but we've had guys make those shots," Gates said. "We ended up 7-for-31 from the 3-point line."

The game will pit coaches in their first season with their programs. Gates is off to a strong start after being hired from Cleveland State, and Florida coach Todd Golden is finding his footing in the SEC after being hired from San Francisco.

Florida (9-7, 2-2) returns home on a two-game winning streak after posting a 67-56 win at LSU on Tuesday. The Gators won with defense, holding LSU to 32.2 percent from the floor while scoring 23 points off 16 LSU turnovers.

"We take a lot of pride in getting stops, especially on the road," Florida guard Myreon Jones said. "Everybody is against us."

Florida has held its last six opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the floor, going 3-3 during the stretch.

"It's what our identity has become," Golden said. "We felt like we could be good defensively but early on our transition was eating us up. When we made that conscious decision after (a trip to) Portland to really address that, we've been really hard to score on the past month and a half since then."

Starting Florida center Colin Castleton has anchored Florida's defense at the rim, leading the SEC in blocked shots with 3.1 per game. Castleton finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocks in Florida's win at LSU and is averaging 14.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 blocks over his last three games.

The defensive mindset has allowed the Gators to overcome some cold shooting stretches. Florida is just 22 of 87 from 3-point range (25.3 percent) in its first four SEC games.

"We were missing some shots and that's basketball, but the little things we were doing, rebounding, blocking out, winning the 50-50 balls, and that's what wins you basketball games in the SEC," Castleton said.

Florida is 5-3 at home this season and 4-1 all-time against Missouri at home. Missouri posted its first-ever win at Florida on March 3, 2021, edging the Gators 72-70.

--Field Level Media

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Missouri Tigers vs. Florida Gators Recap JAN 14TH 2023

Will Richard led three scorers in double figures with 18 points, lifting Florida to a 73-64 win over No. 20 Missouri at Gainesville, Fla.

Colin Castleton added 16 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists for the Gators (10-7, 3-2 SEC), who picked up their third straight win and first win against a ranked team under first-year coach Todd Golden. Florida's last win against a ranked team with a 63-62 upset of No. 2 Auburn on Feb. 19, 2022.

Freshman Riley Kugel chipped in with 13 points off the bench for Florida and Myreon Jones had another strong effort off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and five assists.

Kobe Brown led Missouri (13-4, 2-3) with 21 points as the Tigers dropped their second straight. Noah Carter had 12 points and Tre Gomillion scored 11 points. Missouri struggled from 3-point range for the second straight game, shooting 16.7 percent (3 of 18).

Florida was productive from the perimeter, shooting 43.5 percent (10 of 23).

After a Brown 3-pointer cut Florida's lead to 59-55 with 5:13 remaining, the Gators took control. Jones sank a 3-pointer to put Florida up 62-55 and Alex Fudge followed with an inside dunk, giving the Gators a 64-55 lead with 4:18 left.

Missouri jumped to an early 11-0 lead on a layup by Ronnie DeGray III, but Florida rallied to tie the score 28-28 at halftime.

Kugel hit back-to-back 3-pointers for Florida to cut Missouri's lead to 15-8. Will Richard then followed with a 3-pointer to cut Missouri's lead to 15-11.

Down 20-13, Florida got the ball inside to Castleton for back to back baskets to cut Missouri's lead to 20-17.

The Gators took their first lead of the half at 26-25 on a 3-pointer by Kyle Lofton with 2:45 left. Carter put Missouri back up 28-26 on a three-point play with 2:26 left before Kugel sank two free throws with 36 seconds left in the half, tying the score at the break.

--Field Level Media