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No. 20 Mizzou MBB looks for first SEC road win against Florida

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The No. 20 Mizzou men's basketball team will have another opportunity to notch its first conference road win with a road trip to Gainesville to meet the Florida Gators on Saturday.

Head coach Dennis Gates said it's not about putting emphasis on winning a road game right away, it's more about playing well and giving yourself a chance to be in that position in the end.

"You can play a half, you can go seven to 10 minutes with bad basketball, but you can't play 15 to 20 minutes of bad basketball in the first half," he said. "That puts you behind. In addition, you just want to be able to give yourself a chance to win at the end and we didn't do that."

Gates and company are 2-2 in conference action, with both of those losses coming on the road. The first loss of the SEC season came against then-No. 13 Arkansas and then the second came on Wednesday night against unranked Texas A&M.

"Texas A&M played their last game like a team that got scorned last season," Gates said. "There's no doubt in my mind they had this game circled to a point where they look at it no different than we look at it. It's must-win games. It was a must-win game for us and a must-win game for them. Something that people may have criticized them on, in terms of quality wins, well they beat a top-20 team at home."

Despite not having that coveted SEC road win yet, Mizzou is still 13-3 on the season.

In the Tigers' latest loss against the Aggies, shooting proved to be a problem for the group. MU finished shooting just 35 percent from the field in the 82-64 loss in College Station. Most notably, Mizzou shot about 22 percent from three-point range, which Gates said is not the identity of this team.

"This was the worst game that we've shot the ball and that's one of out of 16 games," he said. "If we shoot the way we shoot over a period of time, our stat sheet will look a certain way at the end of the season, which is the overall goal, at the end of the season, not at this small sample size."

Gates said the month of January will not get easier here on out.

"It's gonna all continue this month. I think there's four or five quad one games," he said. "But, Happy New Year, right?"

Mizzou will tip off against Florida at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie anchors and reports sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.

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