No. 5 Florida up­set by Loy­ola-Chicago 65-59

El Dorado News-Times - - Sports -

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."

BIG PIC­TURE

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.

As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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