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Florida pulls away late, knocks off No. 20 Missouri

Jan 14, 2023; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Missouri Tigers guard Kobe Brown (24) passes around Florida Gators guard Riley Kugel (24) during the first half at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Will Richard led three scorers in double figures with 18 points, lifting Florida to a 73-64 win over No. 20 Missouri at Gainesville, Fla.

Colin Castleton added 16 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists for the Gators (10-7, 3-2 SEC), who picked up their third straight win and first win against a ranked team under first-year coach Todd Golden. Florida’s last win against a ranked team with a 63-62 upset of No. 2 Auburn on Feb. 19, 2022.

Freshman Riley Kugel chipped in with 13 points off the bench for Florida and Myreon Jones had another strong effort off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and five assists.

Kobe Brown led Missouri (13-4, 2-3) with 21 points as the Tigers dropped their second straight. Noah Carter had 12 points and Tre Gomillion scored 11 points. Missouri struggled from 3-point range for the second straight game, shooting 16.7 percent (3 of 18).

Florida was productive from the perimeter, shooting 43.5 percent (10 of 23).

After a Brown 3-pointer cut Florida’s lead to 59-55 with 5:13 remaining, the Gators took control. Jones sank a 3-pointer to put Florida up 62-55 and Alex Fudge followed with an inside dunk, giving the Gators a 64-55 lead with 4:18 left.

Missouri jumped to an early 11-0 lead on a layup by Ronnie DeGray III, but Florida rallied to tie the score 28-28 at halftime.

Kugel hit back-to-back 3-pointers for Florida to cut Missouri’s lead to 15-8. Will Richard then followed with a 3-pointer to cut Missouri’s lead to 15-11.

Down 20-13, Florida got the ball inside to Castleton for back to back baskets to cut Missouri’s lead to 20-17.

The Gators took their first lead of the half at 26-25 on a 3-pointer by Kyle Lofton with 2:45 left. Carter put Missouri back up 28-26 on a three-point play with 2:26 left before Kugel sank two free throws with 36 seconds left in the half, tying the score at the break.

–Field Level Media