• Key play: After Gators center Patric Young picked up his second foul with 4 minutes left, Missouri pulled within 29-26 at the break, thanks to a putback by Laurence Bowers, a Jabari Brown free throw and a steal and fast-break layup by Keion Bell.
• Key stat: Florida’s scoreless drought at the end of the half hurt the Gators’ first-half shooting percentage, as they finished 11 of 29 (37.9 percent) from the field while Missouri shot 11 of 26 (42.3 percent).
• Key play: Florida guard Kenny Boynton missed a long jumper that would have given the Gators the lead late, and Bell made two free throws that gave the Tigers a crucial 63-60 cushion with only 3 seconds remaining.
• Key stat: Florida had more turnovers (14) than assists (10), which speaks to Missouri’s defensive effort.
Bowers looks good
Missouri senior forward Laurence Bowers had his best game since he returned from a midseason knee injury, scoring 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds. The outing came after he struggled mightily in Missouri’s 73-71 loss to Arkansas on Saturday, and Missouri coach Frank Haith encouraged him to be tougher and focus on other aspects of his game.
“Laurence was validating how well he was playing based on how many points he was scoring,” Haith said. “He needs to not do that...he can defend and rebound and focus on those things because you can do those things every night.”
• Haith said a key to Missouri holding the Gators to 22-of-54 shooting (40.7 percent) was the way they defended Florida’s ball screen action. Haith said the Tigers often mixed it up to keep the Gators’ dangerous guards off balance.
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com