Gholston’s clutch 3-pointer lifts Missouri over UCF 68-66

Dec 16, 2022, 9:58 PM | Updated: Dec 17, 2022, 12:00 pm

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — DeAndre Gholston hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to lift Missouri to a 68-66 victory over Central Florida on Saturday at the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic doubleheader.

With 9 seconds remaining, D’Moi Hodge grabbed a defensive rebound for Missouri and brought the ball upcourt. As he approached shooting range, he slipped and fell but was able to pass the ball to Gholston who picked it up and it a straight-on bank shot from about 30 feet away.

All of the final seven field goals of the game were 3-pointers. The barrage began when UCF’s Ithiel Horton hit two 3s and Taylor Hendricks connected for a third to tie the game at 60 with 4:32 remaining.

The Tigers regained the lead on a 3-pointer by Hodge and Ronnie DeGray made two free throws for a 65-60 lead with 2:29 to go. Horton hit a 3-pointer at 2:05 and Taylor Hendricks hit another 3 to put the Knights up 66-65 with 54 seconds remaining. With 9 seconds left and time running out on the shot clock, UCF’s Jayhlon Young missed a 3-pointer, setting the stage for Gholston’s winner.

Both teams made 13 3-pointers, Missouri going 13-for-25 and UCF making 13-of-28.

UCF led 36-35 at halftime, then a 3-pointer by Gholston started a 16-1 Missouri run and the Tigers led 51-37 near the 12-minute mark of the second half. Central Florida got within nine points then closed out the remainder of the deficit when Horton and Hendricks hit the back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it.

Nick Honor scored 17 points for Missouri. Gholston scored 16 off the bench and Hodge finished with 15 points. Honor made 5-of-8 3-pointers and Hodge made 3-of-5.

Horton led UCF (8-3) with 19 points, C.J. Kelly had 16 points and Johnson finished with 12. Horton was 6-for-13 from 3-point distance and Kelly made 3 of his 6 3-point tries.

Through 11 games, the Tigers (10-1) are off to their third-best start in the past 40 seasons. The 1991-92 and 2011-12 teams were undefeated through 11 games.

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Gholston’s clutch 3-pointer lifts Missouri over UCF 68-66