COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Florida continued its good run of form by thrashing No. 11 Texas A&M 83-66 to stay undefeated in Southeastern Conference play on Tuesday night.
Egor Koulechov scored 19 points and hit five 3-pointers, while Keith Stone added 18 points and made four 3s for the Gators (10-4, 2-0 SEC), who connected on 17 3-pointers on the night.
“It’s big especially on the road when you come to a hostile environment,” Koulechov said about their early success from 3-point range.
“It happened today. I hope we can get off to a start like that every game.”
Chris Chiozza finished with 12 points and nine assists and four steals and Jalen Hudson supported with 11 points off the bench for Florida, which built a big lead early en route to cruising to their fourth straight win.
Jay Jay Chandler led Texas A&M (11-3, 0-2) with 17 points on 7 of 11 shooting and Robert Williams added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with four blocks in the defeat.
Tyler Davis also scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Aggies, who were playing without three starters and lost their second straight game.
Leading scorer D.J. Hogg (14.6 ppg) served the last game his three-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of the team rules, while two others averaging in double-digit scoring, didn’t play because of injury.
The home side was also missing junior guard Admon Gilder (12.7 ppg), who missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury and senior guard Duane Wilson (12.1 ppg), who also sat out the game with a knee injury as well.
Despite the defeat, Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy was pleased with his team’s effort and warned the Aggies’ upcoming opponents.
“People better beat us now while we’ve got guys injured and making mistakes,” he said.
“Because I really believe we’re going to get this team right because we’ve got a good group and we’ve got a talented group and we’re going to learn from it.”
Florida coach Mike White acknowledge Kennedy’s comments, noting that when at full strength, they will be difficult to beat.
“A&M’s really good when they’re at full strength they’re probably as good as anyone in the country,” White said.
Hogg returns on Saturday when Texas A&M hosts LSU and Kennedy is looking forward to having his leading scorer back.
“D.J. Hogg has been practicing with us and he’s fine, I think he’ll be ready to play,” the coach said.
“He accepts responsibility for the mistakes he made and he’s put it behind him and we’re moving on with that.”
The Florida Gators stay on the road to travel to Missouri on Saturday.
Texas A&M Aggies entertains the Tigers on Saturday, hoping to end their skid.
—-Photo by Florida Gators Athletics