Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Colleges

Chris Chiozza scores 20 as No. 20 Florida routs Baylor

GAINESVILLE — Florida point guard Chris Chiozza was feeling it, so he went with the flow.

A pass-first point guard by nature, Chiozza decided to stay aggressive as a scorer and see what happened.

The Gators were glad he did.

Chiozza finished the 20th-ranked Gators’ 81-60 rout of Baylor on Saturday with 20 points, including a pivotal five-minute stretch in which he scored 13 straight for UF.

The team’s senior star did not even realize the extent of his solo run, but he knew he was in a zone.

"Normally I hit one, I hit a couple," he said. "So once I hit two, I said, ‘I’m just going to come down and shoot another one, and see what happens.’ And they went in, so I was like, ‘All right, I might shoot some more.’

"I was just out there playing, and it just felt good when I had the ball in my hands."

Good things usually happen for the Gators (15-6) when the ball is in the hands of Chiozza, who continues to build a strong case for SEC player of the year honors.

Chiozza not only led four Gators in double figures, he chipped in six rebounds and six assists while committing just one turnover during 30 minutes on the court in the Big 12/SEC Challenge matchup. He also defended Baylor guard and leading scorer Manu Lecomte, who finished with 10 points.

"Chris Chiozza was amazing," UF coach Mike White said. "I can’t imagine he’s had a better game than that. He put on a show (Saturday).

"He was fantastic."

Baylor coach Scott Drew said his game plan to curtail Chiozza’s impact as a distributor backfired on the struggling Bears (12-9) and allowed the Gators’ 6-foot, 175-pound dynamo to showcase his complete game.

"We tried to take away his passing and he got us with our shooting," Drew lamented. "He’s one of the best point guards in the country. When he’s scoring on top of his facilitating, he goes to another level."

Chiozza, though, was far from a one-man show.

Coming off a surprising home loss to South Carolina, UF ended the day with 14 3-pointers on 25 attempts after shooting just 12-of-53 from beyond the arc during the past two games.

"When we’re shooting like that, it’s hard to beat us," senior shooting guard Egor Koulechov said.

Comments
More on Dan Mullen’s return to ‘Stark Vegas’

More on Dan Mullen’s return to ‘Stark Vegas’

As expected, Gators coach Dan Mullen's upcoming return to Starkville, where he led Mississippi State to national relevance, emerged as the dominant subject during his regular Monday press conference. Here's what he had to say about his de facto homec...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Cue the cowbells: Mullen returning to Mississippi State

Cue the cowbells: Mullen returning to Mississippi State

GAINESVILLE — Sonically, the Gators are making a drastic transition during practice this week, from bluegrass to Blue Oyster Cult.Or so Dan Mullen jokes.The new Gators coach knows cowbell will serve as the cacophonous soundtrack for his return ...
Published: 09/24/18
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

After four full weekends of college football, here's what I know:There is one great team (Alabama). There are three very good teams (Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson).After that? There are a lot of flawed teams with messy results that seem bunched tog...
Published: 09/23/18
UF morning after: Gators answering opportunity’s knock

UF morning after: Gators answering opportunity’s knock

For all the positive vibes they gleaned Saturday night before a gradually disappearing audience, the Gators know they still must conquer their consistency issues.Still too many three-and-outs and muffed progressions. Too few running lanes."The consis...
Published: 09/23/18
Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

For all their defensive opportunism Saturday, make no mistake: The Gators probably remain a year or two away from seriously contending again in the SEC East Division. Still, it beats the Vols, who appear a light-year or two away.Jeremy Pruitt confirm...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

UF journal: A resounding return for LB David Reese

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Gator fans have spent the better part of September wondering if junior LB David Reese ever would get on the field.They spent the better part of Saturday hoping he'd never come off.Reese, whose 2018 debut was postponed by a hi...
Published: 09/22/18
Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

Florida extends Tennessee’s recent SEC futility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On an evening in which Tennessee honored its 1998 national championship squad, the current crop of Vols managed to offset the whole nostalgic shindig.By making the 2018 Gators resemble a national championship-caliber club.A o...
Published: 09/22/18
Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

Deondre Francois throws 2 TDs as Seminoles hold off NIU 37-19

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State has been seeking improvement on offense after managing just 10 combined points in its two FBS losses. The Seminoles found some reasons to be optimistic for a turnaround on Saturday. Deondre Francois threw for a season-high...
Published: 09/22/18
A win for what ails the Seminoles

A win for what ails the Seminoles

TALLAHASSEE — For a moment early Saturday evening, it looked as if Willie Taggart was up to old tricks, running it up as he was wont to do when he had USF on the rise and feeling it.Here we go again?Northern Illinois was beaten for sure. The Hu...
Published: 09/22/18
N’Kosi Perry sparks No. 21 Miami past FIU, 31-17

N’Kosi Perry sparks No. 21 Miami past FIU, 31-17

MIAMI — Miami coach Mark Richt’s decision to send quarterback N’Kosi Perry into the game on the Hurricanes’ third possession Saturday was easy. His next decision might be tougher. Perry came off the bench to throw for 224 yards and three touchdowns, ...
Published: 09/22/18