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No. 8 Florida avoids scare, beats Missouri 14-7

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No. 8 Florida avoids scare, beats Missouri 14-7

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Mike Gillislee took a screen pass and went 45 yards for a touchdown, and No. 8 Florida survived a scare to beat Southeastern Conference newcomer Missouri 14-7 on Saturday.

The Gators rebounded from a turnover-filled loss to rival Georgia and kept alive hopes of winning the SEC's Eastern Division. They need the Bulldogs to lose one of their remaining games, against Mississippi on Saturday or Auburn next week, to clinch a spot in the league title game.

At times, Florida looked less than interested in staying in the SEC hunt. The Gators (8-1, 7-1) were shut out in the first half, managing just 111 yards and failing to contain Missouri quarterback James Franklin.

Like so many other games this season, though, Florida played considerably better in the second half.

The Gators turned two short fields into touchdowns, with Omarius Hines scoring on a 36-yard jet sweep to tie the game in the third before Gillislee put Florida ahead for good in the fourth.

Jeff Driskel lofted a pass to Gillislee in the right flat, and with two blockers out front, Gillislee made one cut and went untouched for his eighth score of the season.

Florida's defense did the rest, shutting down Franklin and the Tigers (4-5, 1-5) over the final 13 minutes.

Josh Evans sealed the victory, intercepting Franklin's fourth-down pass in the end zone with 5 seconds remaining. The Tigers drove to the 21-yard line, but had to try to make something happen as the clock wound down.

Franklin finished with four interceptions.

Franklin, who sprained his left knee against Vanderbilt on Oct. 6 and sat out all or part of the last two games, completed 24 of 51 passes for 236 yards. He overthrew open receivers much of the day and had less mobility than normal.

Still, he ran for 29 yards and burned Florida several times with scrambles.

The Gators were flat to start the game, no surprise since it was a noon start and came after a disappointing loss against Georgia. Florida turned the ball over six times in the 17-9 loss that left coach Will Muschamp needing help to get to Atlanta.

The Gators vowed to play better against Missouri, but it didn't happen early.

It didn't help that they were without left tackle Xavier Nixon and defensive end Lerentee McCray. Place-kicker Caleb Sturgis also was limited, leaving the game after a blocked field-goal attempt in the second quarter.

Florida also lost starting guards Jon Halapio and James Wilson in the second half.

Gillislee ran 16 times for 68 yards - his fourth consecutive game under 70 yards. Driskel completed 12 of 23 passes for 106 yards. Florida's defense was on the field for 86 plays, but allowed just 335 yards.

The Gators totaled 276 yards, but made enough big plays on both sides of the ball to eclipse last season's win total.

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3 stars of the game: Lightning strike 3 times in the first to burn Caps

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USA TODAY Sports

3 stars of the game: Lightning strike 3 times in the first to burn Caps

The first 20 minutes of Tuesday's game did not go well for Washington. The Tampa Bay Lightning scored three times in the opening frame and rode that lead all the way to the 4-2 win.

With the game heading towards a repeat of their blowout loss to Chicago, the Capitals rebounded in the second period to make a game of it as Lars Eller scored on a power play. Alex Ovechkin pulled Washington within one in the third period, but Nikita Kucherov slammed the door shut with a breakaway goal to extend the lead back to 2.

Here are the three stars of the game:

1. Brayden Point: Tampa Bay won this game in the first period when they took a 3-0 lead. Point scored two of those three goals. His first came at the 2:30 mark of the game. He retreated to the blue line on the power play believing Jay Beagle would clear the puck. When Beagle turned the puck over, he recognized it and immediately crashed the net, taking a Ryan Callahan pass in the slot and shooting it through the five-hole of Braden Holtby. On his second goal, Anton Stralman saw an opportunity on the Caps’ line change and passed the puck up to Point at the blue line. Point turned on the jets to get behind the defense and went five-hole again on Holtby to make the score 3-0.

2. Alex Ovechkin: After the first period, Washington slowly took this game over for much of the remaining 40 minutes. Ovechkin was a big part of that as he totaled an incredible 19 shot attempts for the game. Nine of those shots were on goal and he found the back of the net in the third period for career goal No. 594.

3. Tom Wilson: Through the first period, the Caps looked well on their way to a repeat of the 7-1 debacle they suffered Saturday in Chicago. They had nothing going in this game until Wilson drew a trip from Vladislav Namestnikov in the second period. Eller would score on the resulting power play giving Washington some much-needed life. The Namestnikov penalty was the 29th drawn penalty of the season for Wilson, which moves him into a tie with Matthew Tkachuk for the most drawn penalties in the NHL.

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

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Wizards set to have Tim Frazier back against Cavs after nasal fracture surgery

The All-Star break came at a good time for Wizards point guard Tim Frazier, who missed their last game before the week off due to nasal fracture surgery.

Frazier was back at the Wizards' practice on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena and expects to play on Thursday when the team returns to action on the road at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"I feel good. I feel like I can go out there and help them compete," he said.

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Frazier, 27, had surgery to repair his broken nose on Feb. 11 after he was knocked out of the previous night's game between the Wizards and Bulls. Frazier collided face-first with the knee of Bobby Portis and was immediately ushered to the locker room with blood streaming from his nose.

Following the procedure, Frazier had to battle through pain and breathing issues. He feels much better now and had no complications after participating in a full practice.

The challenge now is adjusting to a fitted mask he will have to wear to return to the court. Frazier has never had to wear a mask before in his basketball career.

"[Sweat] was one of the issues today, trying to keep it dry when I'm sweating underneath," he said.

"He looked good," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he would be a little uncomfortable with it, but he seemed fine."

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Frazier has been given advice from the Wizards' training staff, as well as teammate Bradley Beal who has had to wear a mask twice before in his career.

"Brad said that after a while you get used to it. Nobody wants to wear it for the rest of their careers besides Rip Hamilton," Frazier said.

Getting Frazier back is significant for the Wizards, who are already down a point guard with John Wall rehabbing from left knee surgery. Without Frazier against the Knicks on Wednesday, the Wizards had to use Beal and Otto Porter to bring the ball up at times. Now, with Tomas Satoransky and Frazier, they have a starting point guard and a backup who is used to playing the position.

They could have three point guards, as the Wizards continue to weigh their options in free agency. They have to add a player within the next two days to meet the league's minimum roster requirement. Most of the free agents they have evaluated have been point guards as they aim to compensate for Wall's absence, which could last well into the month of March.

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