Missouri needed a win in this game. I have said that for the past several games, but it was still true.
According to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, a Tigers team that looked to earn a four seed in the NCAA tournament just a month ago had fallen to an eighth seed entering this game. An eight seed would mean a matchup with a number one seed in the second round. That’s not how you have a deep run in the tournament.
Florida shot better than Missouri in the first half, but 15 turnovers meant that the Tigers had many more shots and made three more than the Gators. Missouri had nine turnovers themselves, but 15? That’s incredible.
Every time Missouri tried to stretch out its lead in the second half, Florida would reel them back in. Finally, the Tigers had the ball at the end of regulation in a tie game. Dru Smith took advantage of the defense worrying about a high screen and broke to the basket for a reverse layup, giving Missouri a much-needed win.
The Tigers took 18 more shots than Florida but made just three more than the Gators. And Florida shot the ball extremely well when they held the ball long enough to get a shot. They shot 58% from the field. After committing 15 turnovers in the first half, Florida turned the ball over just three times in the second half.
Missouri will get one more game before the SEC tournament as they continue to try to save their season.