COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri showed that it could pull out a close win after all. Senior Laurence Bowers hit a 14-footer with 1:10 left for the go-ahead basket, and the Tigers held on to upset No. 5 Florida 63-60 at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers (19-7, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) avenged a 31-point road loss to the Gators last month by rallying back from a 13-point, second-half deficit. Bowers, who didn't play against Florida last month, led Missouri with 17 points. Jabari Brown added 14 points, and Earnest Ross scored 11 points off the bench for Missouri. The Tigers had dropped four of their previous six games that had margins of three points or fewer, and they'd lost their past three close games. Florida (21-4, 11-2 SEC) dropped to 0-2 this season in games decided by five points or fewer. Down 61-60, Florida had a chance to regain the lead with 19.1 seconds remaining. Off a timeout, Gators guard Kenny Boynton missed an off-balance 3-point attempt, and Florida failed to corral an offensive rebound. Keion Bell then hit two free throws with 3.1 seconds left to ice the game. Mike Rosario led the Gators with 14 points. Boynton added 11 points, and freshman reserve Michael Frazier II scored 10 points. Florida got off to a strong start, making four of its first six 3-point attempts to build an early 16-6 lead on a 3-pointer from freshman Michael Frazier. A Casey Prather steal and dunk extended the Gators' lead to 20-9, but Missouri answered with a 5-0 run, cutting the deficit to 20-14 on a three-point play from senior forward Laurence Bowers. While Missouri was doing damage inside, Florida was more than capable from outside. A 3-pointer from Kenny Boynton, Florida's fifth of the first half, put the Gators up 25-16. The visitors went up 29-18 on two free throws from Frazier, but Missouri closed the half with an 8-0 run. Jabari Brown started the run with a deep 3-pointer, then Bowers made an inside layup. With 1:03 left, Missouri senior guard Keion Bell followed with a steal and breakaway layup to cut Florida's lead to 29-26 at halftime. The Gators played the final 3:56 of the half without center Patric Young after he picked up his second foul of the game. Young was held scoreless in the first half. Florida missed its last seven 3-point attempts before intermission, finishing the first half shooting 37.9 percent from the floor and 27.9 percent (5-for-17) from 3-point range. Missouri shot 42.3 percent from the floor in the first half but had 12 turnovers. The Tigers outscored the Gators 14-6 in the paint in the first half, but Florida outscored Missouri 15-6 from the 3-point arc. NOTES: Florida junior forward Will Yeguete made the trip and took part in light pregame workouts. Yeguete underwent surgery on Feb. 8 to remove bone chips in his knee. He is expected to be re-evaluated at the end of the regular season ... The Gators played their first ever game at Missouri.
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