The Florida Gators are on the verge of dropping out of the Top 25 completely after losing a 65-59 buy game on Wednesday against the 9-1 Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.
To make matters worse for Florida, it wasn’t much of a nail-biter. Loyola-Chicago led for 38:10 and was in command 61-56 at the 4:06 mark, before going scoreless for nearly four minutes. In that time frame, the Gators only made one field goal and a free throw. Loyola then made all four of their final free throws as Florida intentionally fouled in the final 16 seconds.
The Gators began the season 5-0, but have dropped three straight in a manner reminiscent of Arizona’s recent slide.
In Wednesday night’s loss, Florida was lost offensively. The Gators shot a meager 10 percent from behind the arc on 2-of-19 shooting and not a single player finished in double figures scoring. The Gators short circuited on the offensive end to the Ramblers.
Prior to this three-game losing streak, these Gators appeared to be the most potent offensive team in the history of Florida’s history. That now seems like an alternate universe as they failed to crack 60. The Gators had previously eclipsed 100 in four of their first give games.
Instead of shooting lights out, Florida shot like the lights were literally out on their end.
Chiozza shot 3-for-7 from the field, scoring only nine points. The Gators top three scorers this season, Jalen Hudson, Egor Koulechov and KeVaugn Allen, combined to shoot 9-of-35.
Florida’s graceful fall may continue if the Gators don’t get back on track against the Cincinnati Bearcats on Thursday. Meanwhile, one team’s trash game is another team’s treasure. Loyola-Chicago spruced up their own tournament resume and propelled behind Aundre Jackson’s 23 points, the win gave Loyola their best 10-game start to a season in program history.