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Mizzou powers past Florida to beat Gators 91-75

It was just the third time ever that Mizzou beat the Gators
Credit: AP
Missouri's Kobe Brown, left, pushes his way past Florida's Keyontae Johnson, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 91-75. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mizzou Men's Basketball secured its first Southeastern Conference win of the season, downing Florida 91-75, Saturday night at Mizzou Arena. The win marks Mizzou's (9-6, 2-1 SEC) third ever victory over the Gators (10-5, 2-1 SEC) and first since Feb. 24, 2015.

The Tigers jumped to an early lead and held Florida off the scoreboard for the first 2:54 of the game. Xavier Pinson forced a steal at the top of the arc and took it down the court in transition for a ferocious dunk over Florida's 6-foot-10 Omar Payne to push Mizzou to a 15-6 lead.

Mizzou scored a season-high 51 points in the first half to head to the locker room with a 15-point lead. The Tigers kept the momentum going in the second half, polishing off a 16-point win. Mizzou shot 61.5 percent from the field and 63.2 percent from beyond the arc, both season-bests. It marked just the sixth time Florida allowed 90+ points in a game since 2010.

Dru Smith led Mizzou with 22 points, six assists and five steals. Mark Smith and Javon Pickett each added 14 points as nine different Tigers scored, with eight hitting a three.

TURNING POINT

With 8:28 remaining in the first half, Javon Pickett made a jumper in the paint to give Mizzou a 29-18 lead – its first double-digit lead of the game. The Tigers wouldn't allow Florida to pull within single digits for the remainder of the game.

TOP TIGERS

  • Dru Smith finished the night with 22 points, six assists and a season-best five steals.
  • Mark Smith was 3-for-5 from three to finish with 14 points. He added a team-high six rebounds.
  • Javon Pickett contributed 14 points off the bench, going 6-of-8 from the field. He added four rebounds and three assists.
  • Mitchell Smith tied his career high of 10 points, and didn't miss a single shot. He added a pair of rebounds and steals.
  • Reed Nikko chipped in a season-high seven points and grabbed five rebounds in 14 minutes,

NOTES

  • Mizzou scored 91 points – the most the Tigers have scored in a conference game since scoring 93 against Arkansas (March 5, 2013).
  • The Gators have allowed 90 points only six times dating back to 2010. Saturday marked the most points Florida has allowed in regulation since Auburn scored 95 points on Feb. 14, 2017.
  • Mizzou scored a season-high 51 first half points – the most first half points since scoring 54 against Wagner (Nov. 13, 2017).
  • The 51 points are the most the Tigers have scored in a half in a conference game since joining the SEC (2012-present).
  • Mizzou held the Gators to a 30.8-percent clip from the field in the first half – their lowest first half shooting percentage since shooting 29-percent against Utah State (Dec. 21, 2019).
  • Mizzou shot 61.5-percent from the field on the night – the first time shooting higher than 60-percent since shooting 68 percent vs. Wagner (Nov. 23, 2017) and the first time doing so in a conference game since shooting 62.3-percent against Mississippi State (March 1, 2014).
  • The Tigers were 12-of-19 (63.2-percent) from beyond the arc. The last time Mizzou shot higher than 60-percent from three against a conference opponent was a 6-for-9 (67-percent) performance against South Carolina (Feb. 28, 2013).
  • Dru Smith became the first Mizzou player with 22 points, six assists and five steals since Anthony Peeler. Peeler and Smith are the Tigers to do so since 1980. It was Smith's sixth career game scoring 20 points, and second this season.
  • He has recorded an assist in 57 straight games and a steal in 26 straight games, both dating back to his time at Edwardsville. He has 30 straight multi-assist games.
  • Mizzou held a double-digit lead for the final 48:28 of the game, and led by as many as 24 (2H- 5:39) – Florida's largest deficit of the year.
  • The Tigers outscored Florida 40-14 in the paint.
  • Mark Smith has now scored at least 14 points in six games this season.
  • Javon Pickett reached double figures for the fifth time this year.
  • Kobe Brown recorded a career high four assists – doubling his previous high of two against Chicago State (Dec. 30, 2019).
  • Reed Nikko scored seven points – his highest total since he scored eight points against Georgia (March 6, 2019).

UP NEXT

Mizzou will travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Tuesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on the SEC Network. 

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