No. 8 Florida lost for the second time in three games, dropping a "neutral site contest" to Kansas State 67-61 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. In their final game before Christmas, the Gators (9-2) couldn't overcome the Wildcats' (9-2) suffocating defense, especially guarding the 3-point line. The victory was K-State's first top-10 non-conference win since 1961. Instant Analysis takes a look at UF's upset loss.
IT WAS OVER WHEN: On a timeout play by new coach Bruce Weber, Shane Southwell drilled a corner triple with 1:30 remaining, extending K-State's lead to 61-53. The SEC-BIG12 non-conference bout was full of runs by both teams -- The Wildcats went on a 16-4 sprint into halftime, while the Gators opened the second half on a 12-3 run -- but K-State's late burst ultimately decided the game. The Gators tied the game at 41-41 only to see the Wildcats never trail the rest of the game.
HE STOLE THE SHOW: K-State junior guard Will Spradling scored a season-high 17 points, shooting 6-of-8 from the free throw line with also drilling three triples. Spradling chipped in five assists, six rebounds and paced the Cats' offense most of the night breaking Florida's full-court pressure.
THIS STAT DOESN'T LIE: Florida really struggled from beyond the arc, shooting a measly 26.3% against the nation's third-ranked 3-point defense. UF's output was easily its lowest of the season, as the Gators connected on just 5-of-19 attempts. Guards Mike Rosario, Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin combined to shoot 2-for-12 from downtown.
THIS MATCHUP PROVED KEY:Jordan Henriquez, the Wildcats' senior forward, was tasked with defending UF center Patric Young while also manning the paint in K-State's zone defense. Florida's junior big man bested Henriguez 1-on-1 with 10 second half points, but the lanky Henriguez also blocked five shots, ending multiple Gators offensive possessions and getting the Wildcats out in transition.