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Chiozza's triple-double propels No. 24 Florida past Missouri

Chiozza's triple-double propels No. 24 Florida past Missouri
Published On: Thu, Feb 02
Dec 19, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida A&M Rattlers head coach Clemon Johnson talks with guard Jamie Adams (3) during the first half against the South Florida Bulls at USF Sun Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Chiozza knew what was at stake as Florida neared the finish of a total beat down of Missouri.

First he lobbied coach Mike White to let him re-enter the game. Then he surveyed which teammates were on the floor with him before delivering the message.

"Three more buckets," Chiozza barked.

His teammates obliged and Chiozza got the three assists he needed to post Florida's first triple-double in eight years as the No. 24 Gators rolled to a 93-54 victory over Missouri on Thursday night in SEC play at Gainesville, Fla.

Chiozza recorded 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the fourth triple-double in program history. Nick Calathes recorded two (2008 and 2009) and current NBA player Corey Brewer (2005) posted the other.

"I'm glad I got that," Chiozza said. "It was a goal I always wanted to get in college, but I'm just glad that we got the win. That's the most important thing."

Senior guard Canyon Barry scored 17 points and sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen added 15 for Florida. Senior point guard Kasey Hill had 11 points for the Gators (17-5, 7-2), who won by more than 30 points for the third consecutive game

Terrence Phillips scored 14 points and fellow sophomore guard K.J. Walton added 10 for the Tigers, who dropped their 13th consecutive game. Missouri (5-16, 0-9) also suffered its 31st straight road loss since beating Arkansas on Jan. 28, 2014.

The defeat also rates as Missouri's 14th straight in SEC play dating back to last season.

"Really, there's not a whole lot of good things you can say," Tigers coach Kim Anderson said on his postgame radio show. "This was just a game where they came out and completely dominated."

Junior forward Devin Robinson scored nine points and collected 11 rebounds to help Florida post a 56-32 edge on the boards.

Robinson also was fully on board with Chiozza's triple-double quest. He kept asking for the ball in hopes of helping his teammate and the milestone was reached when Chiozza fed Robinson for a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to finish off his triple-double.

Calathes posted the most-recent one by a Florida player when he had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists against Georgia in January 2009.

"Wow. Chris was amazing," Florida coach Mike White said. "His best game, obviously, as a Gator. He's kinda been an X-factor in these last three (games)."

There was concern the Gators might look past the struggling Tigers and toward Saturday's showdown against No. 8 Kentucky but Florida made quick work of Missouri, which hasn't won since Dec. 6.

The Tigers were already out of this contest before it was six minutes old as the Gators connected on six of their first seven field-goal attempts while taking an 18-3 lead.

"It was kind of like getting hit by a train early," Anderson said. "I thought they were way more aggressive than us. Took the ball to the hole, and obviously they shot the ball well."

Florida rattled off 12 straight points a short time later. Hill and Chiozza culminated the surge with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 30-6 with 10:22 left in the half.

A 3-pointer by Allen made it 38-9 with 6:19 remaining. The first-half lead topped out at 31 before the Gators settled for a 48-20 halftime advantage.

Florida increased its edge to 63-28 on Robinson's dunk with 13:42 left and continued to pour it on. The lead reached 40 for the first time when freshman center Gorjok Gak hit a jumper with 4:40 to play and Barry followed with a 3-pointer to make it 87-44.

Chiozza's 10th assist occurred a short time later and then it was finally OK for the Gators to think about Kentucky.

"I don't know that we've started one better this year," White said. "Our focus was really good from the jump, with the big distraction, of course, of Saturday. I was really proud of the effort, the mental focus, the maturity."

NOTES: Florida won its past three games by an average of 35.3 points. The other wins were road games at LSU and Oklahoma. ... The Tigers shot only 30.2 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from the free-throw line. ... Gators freshman F Keith Stone (ear infection) missed the contest. ... Missouri's most-recent victory came against Miami (Ohio). ... This is the third time Florida won three consecutive games by 30 or more points. The other occurrences were during Billy Donovan's tenure as coach -- in 2004 and 2006. ... Five of Missouri's last six losses are by double digits.

Read the complete news article here...

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DeVon Walker G
John Egbunu C
Dorian Finney-Smith F
Alex Murphy F
Devin Robinson F
Chris Chiozza G
Schuyler Rimmer F
Justin Leon F
Kasey Hill G
Lexx Edwards G
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