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No. 24 Florida romps before Kentucky showdown; USF losing skid hits 10

‘SHOW ME’ SLAM: Kevarrius Hayes dunks during a 93-54 rout of Missouri, the third straight win for the Gators by at least 30.
‘SHOW ME’ SLAM: Kevarrius Hayes dunks during a 93-54 rout of Missouri, the third straight win for the Gators by at least 30.
Published Feb. 3, 2017

GAINESVILLE — Late in the second half, backup Florida guard Chris Chiozza whispered to coach Mike White that he needed to get him back in the game.

His reasoning? Chiozza said he was going to get a triple double.

"I said, 'No, you're not. Come on,' " White said.

Chiozza convinced White he was close enough to make it happen, so the coach let him play the rest of the way. And the junior got the first triple double of his career — 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists — as No. 24 Florida dominated Missouri 93-54 Thursday.

Nick Calathes and Corey Brewer are the only UF players to accomplish the feat since 1997.

"It means a lot," Chiozza said. "I'm glad that I achieved that, but I'm happier that we got the W. That's the most important thing."

The Gators (17-5, 7-2 SEC) tied a school record by winning their third consecutive game by at least 30 points. "They came out and completely outmatched us," Tigers coach Kim Anderson said. "It was kind of like getting hit by a train."

Up next for Florida: Saturday's prime-time home showdown against No. 8 Kentucky. ESPN's GameDay crew will be in town for the sold-out game.

USF SKID HITS 10: The cinematic version of Groundhog Day reared itself at the Sun Dome, with USF reliving the same abysmal scenario.

Despite a career night from freshman Malik Fitts (28 points, 11 rebounds), the Bulls fell to Memphis 85-75, their 10th consecutive defeat. Nine of those have been by double digits.

"I am proud of the effort, proud of the fight," said interim USF coach Murry Bartow, whose team trimmed an 18-point deficit nearly in half in the final 3:14. "I've been part of games that have been 19-point games that can easily go to 30. Hopefully that shows you a little bit about where our team is."

Fitts' fallaway 3 at the first-half buzzer cut the Bulls' deficit to 35-30. USF (6-15, 0-10 AAC) trimmed it to three a minute into the second half before Memphis (17-6, 7-3) went on a 17-6 run.

Siblings Dedric and K.J. Lawson combined for 47 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Tigers.

COACH K BACK SATURDAY: Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he will return Saturday against Pittsburgh after back surgery has kept him out for four weeks.

Women: FSU stays hot

BOSTON — Shakayla Thomas scored 20 to lead No. 6 Florida State to an 85-53 rout of Boston College, the eighth straight win for the Seminoles (21-2, 9-1 ACC).

No. 3 Maryland 85, Purdue 70: Brionna Jones scored 17 and added 14 rebounds as the host Terrapins (22-1, 10-0 Big Ten) won their 10th straight.

No. 4 S.C. 75, No. 25 Ky. 63: Alaina Coates had 20 points and a season-high 18 rebounds, and the Gamecocks (19-2, 9-1 SEC) used an 18-point run in the second quarter to pull away from the host Wildcats (15-8, 6-4).

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No. 7 N. Dame 76, Va. Tech 59: Arike Ogunbowale had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the visiting Fighting Irish (21-3, 9-1 ACC) pulled away after halftime.

No. 19 N.C. St. 72, No. 9 L'ville 70, OT: Miah Spencer's floater at the buzzer from the free-throw line lifted the visiting Wolfpack (17-6, 6-3 ACC) in overtime over the Cardinals (20-5, 7-3).

OBITUARIES: Bobby Watson, a key player on Kentucky's 1951 NCAA men's championship team who also coached Owensboro (Ky.) High to two state titles, has died. He was 86. Mr. Watson was a walk-on in 1949, earning a scholarship under coach Adolph Rupp. … Jeff Sauer, who led Wisconsin to two NCAA hockey titles, has died after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 73. He coached Wisconsin for 30 years (1982-2002). In his first year, he led Wisconsin to the national title in 1983, following with another in 1990.

Times staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report.

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