Missouri shoots lights out in blowout win over Gators

As the legend goes, before the battle of Thermopylae a messenger was sent to King Leonidas by Xerxes I imploring the Spartan king to surrender to his forces. Upon multiple denials, the messenger retorted, “our arrows will blot out the sun.” A Spartan general replied, “then we will fight in the shade.”

If you’ve ever seen the movie “300” or are familiar with the story, the Gators were the Spartans on Saturday night and Columbia, Missouri was Thermopylae. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for the Spartans in the movie.

Missouri shot the lights out in a dominant 91-75 win over the Gators, leading by double-digits for more than 28 minutes of the game and stretched its lead out to 24 at one point.

Coming off of a tremendous effort in a come from behind win over Alabama and a road win at South Carolina the Gators came out flat, started the game shooting just 1-10 and didn’t show much in the way of effort on the defensive end. Kerry Blackshear was the only player to show up in the first half. The graduate senior scored 11 of the first 20 UF points and finished with 22 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

Missouri came into the game 10th in the SEC in three-pointers (30.5%). They were 15-20 (75%) from range against the Gators. The Tigers were the SEC’s 13th best offense, averaging just 66.7 points per game. They matched a season-high in points (91 points in a win over Chicago State) Saturday. Finally, the Tigers came into the contest shooting just 42.6% (13th in the league) but shot 61.5% against Florida.

It was an uncharacteristic shooting performance from the Tigers, but an all too increasingly characteristic performance from a Mike White led basketball team that just can’t seem to handle success. After winning the Charleston Classic Florida was hardly competitive against Butler on the road. They beat an average Providence team in Brooklyn but lost their next game to Utah State.

The Gators will return home this week after getting knocked off their pedestal once again but it doesn’t get any easier. Florida will host Ole Miss (9-6) Tuesday night and then, on Saturday, an undefeated Auburn (15-0).

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC