No. 5 Florida upset by Loyola-Chicago 65-59
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 5 Florida followed a performance coach Mike White called "the epitome of soft" with an even bigger flop.
Aundre Jackson scored 23 points, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola-Chicago stunned the Gators 63-59 on Wednesday night, handing them a third consecutive loss.
"Hopefully we've been humbled a bit," White said.
Florida hasn't been the same since blowing a 17-point lead in the second half against top-ranked Duke on Nov. 26. The tailspin continued against rival Florida State on Monday and reached a new low against Loyola-Chicago.
"I can't put a word on it. It's pretty embarrassing," guard Jalen Hudson said. "It's so embarrassing."
Another reality check could be ahead. The Gators (5-3) could fall out of The Associated Press Top 25, especially if they lose to 17th-ranked Cincinnati in New Jersey on Saturday. Arizona went from No. 2 to unranked earlier this season.
Florida trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, but had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds. KeVaughn Allen missed a driving layup, and Kevarrius Hayes' ensuing tip-in was waved off because officials ruled the ball was on the rim when he touched it.
Cameron Satterwhite closed it out with two free throws on the other end.
"It's huge for us," Loyola-Chicago coach Porter Moser said. "We're just trying to turn the culture of the program. It's huge for us because of Florida's program. They've been to Final Fours. They were in the Elite Eight last year. They're fifth in the country.
"I'm not going to undersell the importance. It was a really good win for us and I'm really proud of our guys. ... Obviously, when you win a game like this, it's a good spotlight on you. But you want that spotlight to burn even more inside as we prepare and get better as the season goes on."
The Gators shot 36.9 percent from the field, missed 17 of 19 3-point attempts and finished with seven assists.
The Ramblers (9-1) were much more efficient, shooting 52 percent from the field and making half their 12 shots from behind the arc.
White tweaked several aspects of Florida's approach: Deaundrae Ballard and Keith Stone replaced Hudson and Allen in the starting lineup, and the Gators pressed more than usual. Allen had started 68 consecutive games.
But nothing White did fixed Florida's shooting woes or the team's defensive deficiencies.
Allen was 3-of-11 shooting, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Hudson was 3 of 11 from the field and 0 of 5 from behind the arc. Egor Koulechov was 3 of 13, including 0 for 3 on treys. Chris Chiozza was 3 of 7 from the field, had a teamhigh nine points and finished with four assists.
No Florida player reached double digits in scoring.
The Gators also led just 93 seconds.
"This is the lowest we can get," Hudson said. "I don't think we can get any lower than this. I'm sure we're out of the rankings; none of that even matters. But we're as low as we can get. We've got to completely change everything we're doing and go back to the basics . ... We've got to have a change of heart, a change of everything. It's not working."
Loyola-Chicago: The Ramblers have to feel good. They enjoyed their best start through nine games since the 1965-66 season and led Florida for most of the night. Moses has an experienced squad that's playing without senior guard Ben Richardson (broken hand).
Florida: Since leading top-ranked Duke by 17 points with 10 minutes to play in a championship game of the PK80, the Gators haven't been the same. Between Duke's comeback and lackluster losses to Florida State and Loyola-Chicago, Florida has been outscored by a whopping 44 points in a 90-minute span. The stretch raised questions about the team's ranking and potential.
WASHINGTON 74, NO. 2 KANSAS 65 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Matisse Thybulle hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 points, Jaylen Nowell added 15 and Washington led most of the way in upsetting second-ranked Kansas.
Noah Dickerson added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskies (7-2), who knocked the Jayhawks (7-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Lagerald Vick had a career-high 28 points for Kansas, doing almost all his damage in the middle of the Huskies' 2-3 zone. But he didn't get a whole lot of help as the Jayhawks went 5 for 20 from the 3-point arc, lowlighted by lousy performances from sharpshooters Devonte Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk.
Graham, coming off back-to-back 35-point outbursts, was held to three points on 1-for8 shooting, while Mykhailiuk was 3 for 12 from the field and scored eight points before fouling out.
The Jayhawks should have been prepared for Washington coach Mike Hopkins' zone defense, considering he spent 22 years on Jim Boeheim's staff at Syracuse and Kansas had recently beaten the Orange.
And in truth, the Jayhawks had little trouble getting Vick open shots in the middle of the zone.
They just weren't falling most of the night.
Throw in foul trouble that sent the Jayhawks' two big men, Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot, to the bench well before halftime and it was no surprise the Huskies took a 36-34 lead into the break.
Washington kept the pressure on early in the second half, pushing its lead to 52-44 with 12:10 left in the game, before the Jayhawks finally turned up the defensive intensity. Vick got going again inside and Azubuike's slam of an alley-oop pass trimmed their deficit to 53-52 with 9 1/2 minutes to go.
The Huskies calmed back down after a timeout, though, stretching their lead again. Thybulle got loose for a transition dunk, Dickerson added a slam of his own, and Hameir Wright's 3-pointer from the wing made it 69-56 — their biggest lead to that point.
Driving: Loyola-Chicago guard Marques Townes (5) drives past Florida guard Mike Okauru (0) during the first half of their game in Gainesville, Fla., on Wednesday.