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Loyola Chicago 65, Florida 59: Gators lay bricks, egg in third straight loss

A cold shooting night results in a colder reality.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When his Florida Gators lost to Florida State on Monday night, Florida coach Mike White said the Seminoles threw the first punch, and then all the subsequent ones — and called the performance “the epitome of soft.”

He’ll have a harder time describing the Gators’ 65-59 loss to Loyola Chicago on Wednesday.

The reasons for the loss were simple: Loyola played well, and Florida did not, especially on offense. Aundre Jackson had 23 points on just 12 shots, and the Ramblers shot 52 percent from the field and 50 percent from three; Florida made just two of 19 threes and just nine of 14 free throws, and didn’t have a single player score in double figures.

Not everything went wrong — the Gators had just eight turnovers, and 16 offensive rebounds, and turned nine steals and 13 Loyola turnovers into points when they could — but practically everything about Florida’s shooting did, and that was more than enough to doom the Gators to a third straight loss, and a second straight home loss as the newly-minted No. 5 team in the country.

And unless Florida plays far better on Saturday in a showdown with Cincinnati, the Gators can kiss the number before their name goodbye.