Jan 12, 2020 4:56 AM

Missouri rolls to big win against Florida 91-75

Posted Jan 12, 2020 4:56 AM

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Dru Smith scored 22 points and dished six assists to lead Missouri to a 91-75 victory over Florida on Saturday.
The Tigers (9-6, 1-2 Southeastern Conference), who entered the game ranked next-to-last in the league in scoring offense, tied their season-high point total. They shot a blistering 61.5% from the field and 63.2% from 3-point range. Javon Pickett and Mark Smith scored 14 each, and Mitchell Smith finished with 10.
Kerry Blackshear led Florida (10-5, 2-1) with 22 points, Noah Locke added 12 and Scottie Lewis had 10.
Mark Smith sank a 3-pointer on the game's opening possession, and the Tigers were off and running. In the first half, they created fast breaks with five steals, scored 20 points in the paint and made 8 of 11 shots from beyond the arc. Xavier Pinson drew one of the biggest roars of the season from the Mizzou Arena crowd when he led the break, faked a pass to the right corner and dunked in traffic to give Missouri a 13-5 lead. The Tigers led 51-36 at halftime.
The second half started the same way, as Mitchell Smith sank a 3-pointer, causing an animated Florida coach Mike White to call a timeout just 40 seconds after intermission. The Gators cut an 18-point deficit to 10 when Tre Mann hit a 3-pointer with 14:50 left, and they had Missouri in so much foul trouble they were shooting free throws in the bonus at the 13:20 mark. But Florida couldn't get enough defensive stops to get any closer.
BIG PICTURE
Florida: The Gators usually fly back to Gainesville right after road games, but White decided before the trip to spend an extra night in Missouri because of ice and snow in the forecast. White said he was concerned that flight delays might cost his players valuable sleep.
Missouri: The Tigers improved to 6-0 when scoring at least 70 points. Offense has been the problem most of the season. They scored just 59 points in each of their first two SEC games. They almost reached that total by halftime against the Gators.
UP NEXT
Florida: The Gators play Mississippi on Tuesday at home.
Missouri: The Tigers visit Mississippi State on Tuesday.
--- Associated Press ---

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Jan 12, 2020 4:56 AM
No. 3 Kansas falls at home to 4th-ranked Baylor 67-55

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Jared Butler scored 22 points, MaCio Teague added 16 and fourth-ranked Baylor beat No. 3 Kansas 67-55 on Saturday for the Bears' first win in 18 tries on the hallowed hardwood of Allen Fieldhouse.

Freddie Gillespie added 13 points for the Bears (13-1, 3-0 Big 12), who snapped a whole slew of ignominious streaks with their victory in Lawrence: They beat a top-five team on the road for the first time in 22 attempts, won their fifth consecutive game against a ranked team for the first time in school history and, perhaps most importantly, beat Kansas (12-3, 2-1) in their personal house of horrors for the first time since the building opened in 1966.

Isaiah Moss scored 15 points and Marcus Garrett had 11 for the Jayhawks, who lost leading scorer Devon Dotson to an injury for a long stretch midway through the game and could never solve the Bears' league-best defense.

Kansas was 4 of 15 from beyond the arc and committed 14 turnovers, which Baylor turned into a 21-2 edge in points off turnovers. The result was just the Jayhawks' second loss to the Bears in their last 15 meetings.

The two Big 12 heavyweights spent the first 10 minutes of the game sizing each other up, and the Jayhawks opened a brief 20-15 lead before the Bears -- and Teague and Butler in particular -- finally asserted control.

Teague began a 22-4 run to close the first half by beating the shot clock with a 3-pointer. He turned the same trick a few minutes later, right after Butler knocked down a 3 and added a jumper of his own. The quick flurry forced Kansas coach Bill Self to call the first of two fruitless timeouts in the closing minutes of the first half.

The second timeout came as the Bears were hitting seven straight field goals to take a 37-24 lead into the break.

Making matters worse for Kansas? Dotson appeared to tweak his hip or oblique down the stretch. He played on and began the second half, but he grabbed his side again 30 seconds in and immediately returned to the locker room.

The Jayhawks still made a run without the Big 12's leading scorer.

Holding the Bears to a pair of field goals over the first 10 minutes of the second half, Kansas slowly managed to trim its deficit. Udoka Azubuike's alley-oop dunk got the Jayhawks within 41-36, and Ochai Agbaji's acrobatic layup a few minutes later provided an answer to yet another 3-pointer from Teague.

But the Jayhawks also misfired on plenty of opportunities to get closer. Garrett committed his fourth turnover with a chance to make it a one-possession game, Moss air-balled a 3-pointer and the Bears collapsed on easy looks in the paint.

That's when Butler and Teague refused to let another Baylor lead dissipate in the Phog.

The sophomore guard and his junior running mate, who together had carried the Bears to 11 straight wins, began to score at will on the offensive end. They attacked the basket against the Jayhawks' vaunted big men, dropped a series of open 3s to silence another sellout crowd, and seemingly willed the rest of coach Scott Drew's team to the finish line.

Even when Dotson returned to the game, the Jayhawks struggled to find their mojo. The Bears answered every bucket by Azubuike with one of their own, and they kept harassing Garrett into mistakes on offense and silly fouls on defense.

The Bears' lead eventually swelled to 60-44, and all they had to do was nurse it the rest of the way.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor had been 0-3 in matchups in which both teams were ranked in the top five, with two of those losses coming to the Jayhawks -- add that to the streaks that were broken Saturday. The Bears were efficient on offense, going 8 of 19 from beyond the arc, and they committed just five turnovers in a peerless offensive performance.

Kansas failed to get Azubuike and fellow big men David McCormack and Silvio de Sousa involved in the game, often throwing the ball away while trying to dump it down low. The result was a stunning 28-26 deficit on points in the paint, something few teams will be able to accomplish against the Jayhawks this season.

UP NEXT

Baylor returns home to face Iowa State on Wednesday night.

Kansas begins a two-game road swing Tuesday night at Oklahoma.

--- Associated Press ---