Tigers fall to Gators in SEC home opener

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COLUMBIA - In a game Missouri led most of the way, the Tigers fell to Florida in dramatic fashion in the teams SEC home opener. 

Chris Chiozza’s steal and lay up in the final seconds of the game propelled Florida to victory. 

"He is an older guard and he just happen to sniff it out," said Florida head coach Mike White on Chiozza's game winning play. "It was a gamble and it paid off." 

Florida ended the game on a 7-0 run in the final minute and 10 seconds of the game. 

"I mean there is not a lot of talking in that situation. The pain will take care of itself, there is no point in me talking for hours. Let's learn from it and push forward," Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said after the game. "We know we have a good team, we also know and understand there are a lot of things we could have done better." 

Jordan Barnett led the Tigers with 28 points and nine rebounds on the afternoon. Barnett had 15 of those points mid-way through the first half. 

"I don't remember a guy, I may be mistaken, I don't remember a guy making this big of a jump in a year," White said of Barnett. "This guy was a good player last year and this year he is terrific." 

White said he could not think of a more improved player in the SEC. 

"We have to figure out how to finish games," Barnett said. "There have been a lot of situations this season where we have had leads late and we just lose them, just almost collapse, so still a work in progress." 

Officiating was also a topic of conversation after the game. 

"It was very, very tough for me, very tough for me if you know what I am saying. It was probably one of the toughest I have ever been apart of," Martin said, clearly talking about the officiating of the game. "I'm not a complainer, I respect all, but it was hard." 

Jeremiah Tilmon’s struggles with foul trouble continued. Tilmon played limited time after picking up two early fouls and three total in the first half. 

He finished with eight points and one rebound. 

"Everybody involved has to find a way to let Jeremiah Tilmon play basketball," Martin said. "I just hope he doesn't get a reputation because he is doing the right things and he plays hard." 

Tigers fall to 11-4 overall, 1-1 in SEC play  

Missouri’s next game is Wednesday, January 10th at home against Georgia.