Rapid Reaction: Missouri 63, Florida 60
February, 19, 2013
By Jason King | ESPN.com
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A few quick thoughts from Missouri's 63-60 victory over No. 5 Florida Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.
Overview: Missouri may not be a very good team on the road, but few teams in America have been as good at home this season as the Tigers, who rallied for what could be a season-changing victory over Florida before a sell-out crowd of 15,061.
Frank Haith's squad trailed by as many as 13 points midway through the second half before a gutsy comeback against one of the top defensive teams in America. A 3-pointer by Jabari Brown pulled Mizzou within a point, 57-56, with 3:10 remaining before a traditional three-point play by point guard Phil Pressey moments later gave the Tigers their first lead of the game, 59-57.
Florida countered with a 3-pointer from Scottie Wilbekin that put the Gators back in front 60-59. But a pull-up jumper by Laurence Bowers gave Missouri a 61-60 lead that it would never relinquish. A pair of foul shots by Keion Bell with 3 seconds remaining made it 63-60. Florida's Mike Rosario missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer that would've tied it.
Missouri improved to 19-7 overall and 8-5 in the SEC. The Tigers are 15-0 at home. First-place Florida fell to 21-4 and 11-2.
Turning point: Bowers' pull-up jumper at the end was huge, but Missouri also played great defense in the waning seconds, pressuring Florida to three missed 3-pointers in the final minutes of the game.
Star of the game: Bowers had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Missouri while Pressey added 10 assists. Rosario scored a team-high 14 points for Florida, which shot just 40.7 percent from the field.
Key stat: Florida went 6-of-12 from the foul line and missed the front end of three one-and-ones in the second half. Missouri also out-toughed the Gators on the boards, winning the rebounding battle 40-28.
Up next: Missouri plays at Kentucky on Saturday while Florida hosts Arkansas.