GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Highly touted freshman Chris Walker gave the home fans something to cheer about early.
Michael Frazier II sent them home happy.
Frazier scored 14 points, making four three-pointers in the second half, and Walker had two big dunks in his college debut as the third-ranked Gators beat Missouri 68-58 on Tuesday night.
Florida (20-2 overall, 9-0 Southeastern Conference) won its 14th consecutive game and extended a school record with its 28th straight victory at home.
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Center Patric Young’s driving layup with 4:10 left gave the Gators a 58-48 lead.
Three-point shooting kept the Tigers (16-6, 4-5) in the mix for much of the game.
“We knew it was going to be a slugfest,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “We were OK with that. … Our game plan was good and we were executing. Then they got going.”
Jabari Brown led the Tigers with 15 points.
Scottie Wilbekin scored 19 points for the Gators; he was 13 of 16 from the free-throw line.
Florida coach Billy Donovan posted his 16th consecutive season with at least 20 victories.
Walker, a forward, sat out 12 games, or 40 percent of the season, because the NCAA determined he “received preferential treatment from five people, including two agents.” The NCAA said Walker and people close to him accepted free cellphones and service, airfare, lodging, meals and apparel while he was a prospect.
“I was like 16 or 17,” Walker said. “I really had no idea about the rules and everything.”
Walker was ordered to donate the $270 received from the agents to a charity of his choice and serve 80 hours of community service.
Other Top 10 men
No. 8 Kansas 69, at Baylor 52
Naadir Tharpe scored 22 points, nine in a go-ahead run before halftime, as the Jayhawks (17-5, 8-1 Big 12) beat the Bears (14-8, 2-7).
Conference-leading Kansas rebounded from an 81-69 loss at Texas on Saturday.
Andrew Wiggins overcame a slow start to score 14 points, and Perry Ellis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks.
Cory Jefferson scored 14 points to lead Baylor, which lost its fourth consecutive game at the Ferrell Center after a 13-game home winning streak.
Top 5 women
At No. 1 Connecticut 102, Southern Methodist 41
Bria Hartley scored 21 points and Breanna Stewart added 20 as UConn (24-0, 11-0 American Athletic) beat the Mustangs (14-8, 5-6) for its 30th victory in a row.
The Huskies opened with a 19-0 run and led by 37 points at halftime in a dazzling display of teamwork.
Keena Mays, the conference’s top scorer, had 20 points for SMU.
No. 4 Louisville 74, at Central Florida 59
Asia Taylor’s double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds helped the Cardinals (23-1, 11-0 American Athletic) defeat the Knights (9-13, 2-9).
Sara Djassi led Central Florida with 12 points.