Canada

Missouri downs Florida on last-second shot

Dru Smith’s reverse layup with seven-tenths of a second left on the clock lifted Missouri to a crucial 72-70 victory over the host Florida Gators on Wednesday night in Gainesville.

Smith finished with 17 points, nine assists and six steals as the Tigers (15-7, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) stemmed the tide of a recent rough stretch which saw them lose four of their previous five games. Missouri also snapped a four-game losing streak against the Gators in Gainesville.

The Gators (13-7, 9-6) had their own three-game winning streak halted despite 21 points from Tre Mann.

Florida trailed for the entire second half until going on a late 8-0 run to tie the game at 70 with 19.2 seconds left. But the Tigers were able to draw Gators forward Colin Castleton out of the paint on the final play as he came to the perimeter to cover Mitchell Smith, opening the lane for Dru Smith’s winning cut to the basket.

Missouri did a great job limiting the Gators’ ability to feed the ball to Castleton at the rim throughout the game. Castleton scored only three points over the first 30 minutes of the game and finished with 10 points.

Missouri used an 18-4 surge starting with 6:35 left in the first half and led by as many as 10 points early in the second half. The Gators cut the deficit to a point more than once, but second chance points for Missouri allowed the Tigers to stay in front each time.

The Tigers outrebounded the Gators 11-4 on the offensive glass.

Mitchell Smith and Xavier Pinson each finished with 14 points with Smith also grabbing six rebounds. Jeremiah Tilmon totaled 12 points and five rebounds, but fouled out setting up Castleton’s tying free throws. Mark Smith also had 11 points.

Tyree Appleby finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Gators and Noah Locke totaled 11 points. Anthony Duruji had 10 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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