Tyrese Samuel, No. 24 Florida keep Missouri winless in SEC

Tyrese Samuel scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the No. 24 Florida Gators defeated the Missouri Tigers 83-74 on Wednesday in Gainesville, Fla.Zyon Pullin scored 21 points an

Tyrese Samuel, No. 24 Florida keep Missouri winless in SEC

Tyrese Samuel scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the No. 24 Florida Gators defeated the Missouri Tigers 83-74 on Wednesday in Gainesville, Fla.

Zyon Pullin scored 21 points and Micah Handlogten had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Gators (20-8, 10-5 Southeastern Conference).

Walter Clayton Jr. scored 13 points for Florida before fouling out with 14:08 to play.

Sean East II scored 20 points, Nick Honor scored 18 and Tamar Bates added 15 for the Tigers (8-20, 0-15).

Samuel threw down two early dunks at the Gators scored the first six points of the game. The Tigers responded with Bates hitting a 3-point jumper and converting a drive to cut Florida’s lead to 10-9.

The Gators used a 12-4 run, capped by Pullin’s 3-point jumper, to push out to a 22-13 margin with 9:45 left in the half.

Missouri cut its deficit to 26-22 with 6:45 left in the half behind Honor, who hit a 3-point jumper, assisted on Connor Vanover’s dunk and hit two free throws.

Florida closed out the half by outscoring Missouri 9-6 in the final 5:15 to take a 37-28 lead into the break.

The Gators missed 12 of 15 shots from behind the arc in the first half, but they grabbed nine offensive rebounds and scored 12 second-chance points.

With Florida struggling offensively against Missouri’s zone, the Tigers opened the second half with a 10-2 surge started by Vanover’s 3-point play.

After Missouri cut its deficit to 39-38, Florida answered with a 12-2 run with Pullin and Clayton hitting 3-point jumpers.

But after Clayton fouled out, the Tigers rallied to cut their deficit to 55-54 with 9:36 left. Honor led the charge with a 3-point play and five three throws.

Will Richard stopped Missouri’s run with a 3-point jumper, then the teams traded baskets down the stretch before Samuel’s 3-point play with 1:10 effectively put the game away.