By JAKE KREINBERG
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Namon Wright helped Missouri snap its school-record 13-game losing streak with a flourish Tuesday night, scoring a career-high 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead the Tigers past Florida 64-52.
The freshman from Los Angeles carried the team nearly single-handedly in the opening minutes of each half, and his 6-of-8 performance from behind the 3-point line helped spark the loudest cheers in Mizzou Arena since the Tigers (8-20, 2-13 Southeastern Conference) last won on Jan. 8.
Devin Robinson scored 14 points and Jon Horford added 10 for Florida (13-15, 6-9), which lost for the sixth time in seven games and prevented coach Billy Donovan from earning his 500th career win. He would have joined Bob Knight as the only coaches in Division I history to reach the milestone before their 50th birthday.
Missouri senior Keith Shamburger criticized the team's effort after losing 76-53 at Vanderbilt on Saturday, saying slow starts are getting into the Tigers' heads. Missouri missed six of its first seven shots in that game, but started 4 of 6 Tuesday thanks mostly to Wright.
Wright scored seven points in the first 4:27, providing a boost of energy that lasted through most of the opening half. The Tigers led for more than 13 of the game's first 20 minutes, only to watch Florida take a 31-27 halftime lead after the Gators scored six of the final eight points.
Wright reignited after the break, pulling those in attendance to their feet by scoring Missouri's first 10 points in the first 3:43 to gain a 37-35 advantage. The Gators answered with nine unanswered points before Missouri countered with 11 of the next 12 for a 48-45 lead.
Florida narrowed its deficit to a single point on an ensuing jump shot from Chris Walker, but could get no closer during the final six minutes.
The Tigers gradually stretched their lead to as many as 14 points to the delight of the 7,631 in attendance, most of whom remained standing during the last few minutes. As the final seconds ticked off, the student section started performing Florida's "Gator Chomp" before joining other fans in sustained applause as the clock struck zero.
Florida played without its two leading scorers for a third consecutive game, with junior Michael Frazier II still nursing a high ankle sprain and junior Dorian Finney-Smith remaining suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. The duo combine for 26.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and did not make the trip.
Florida: The Gators only made 9 of 23 attempts from the free throw line, and finished 19 of 48 (39.6 percent) overall.
Missouri: After being outrebounded 46-26 at Vanderbilt on Saturday, the Tigers grabbed a 34-31 advantage on the boards on Tuesday. . The team finished 19 of 44 (43.2 percent) from the field. . Montaque Gill-Caesar and Johnathan Williams III both added nine points.
Florida returns home to face Tennessee on Saturday.
Missouri plays at Georgia on Saturday.
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