GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Aundre Jackson scored 23 points, Cameron Krutwig added 14 and Loyola-Chicago stunned No. 5 Florida 63-59 on Wednesday night, handing the Gators a third consecutive loss.
Less than 48 hours after Florida coach Mike White said his team’s performance against rival Florida State was “the epitome of soft,” the Gators delivered another dud.
This one could knock them out of The Associated Press Top 25 next week, especially if they lose to 17th-ranked Cincinnati in New Jersey on Saturday. Arizona went from No. 2 to unranked earlier this season.
The Gators (5-3) shot 36.9 percent from the field, missed 17 of 19 3-point attempts and finished with seven assists.
The Ramblers (9-1) were much more efficient, shooting 52 percent from the field and making half their 12 shots from behind the arc.
White tweaked several aspects of Florida’s approach: Deaundrae Ballard and Keith Stone replaced KeVaughn Allen and Jalen Hudson in the starting lineup, and the Gators pressed more than usual. Allen had started 68 consecutive games.
But nothing White did fixed Florida’s shooting woes.
Allen was 3-of-11 shooting, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range. Hudson was 3 of 11 from the field and 0 of 5 from behind the arc. Egor Koulechov was 3 of 13, including 0 for 3 on treys. Chris Chiozza was 3 of 7 from the field, had a team-high nine points and finished with four assists.
No Florida player reached double digits in scoring.
The Gators also led just 93 seconds.
Loyola-Chicago: The Ramblers have to feel good. They enjoyed their best start through nine games since the 1965-66 season and led Florida for most of the night. Coach Porter Moses has an experienced squad that’s playing without senior guard Ben Richardson (broken hand).
Florida: Since leading top-ranked Duke by 17 points with 10 minutes to play in a championship game of the PK80, the Gators haven’t been the same. Between Duke’s comeback and lackluster losses to Florida State and Loyola-Chicago, Florida has been outscored by a whopping 44 points in a 90-minute span. The stretch raised questions about the team’s ranking and potential.
Loyola-Chicago: Hosts Norfolk State on Saturday.
Florida: Plays No. 17 Cincinnati on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey.
More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Send a Letter to the Editor