Scores

Final

Miami (FL) 60

(19-13, 7-9 ACC)

Florida 74

(25-10, 9-7 SEC)

7:00 PM ET, March 20, 2009

Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida

1 2 T
MIA 32 2860
FLA 48 2674

Top Performers

Miami (FL): D. Collins 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Florida: N. Calathes 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Calathes extends Florida's season with win over Miami in NIT

Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Nick Calathes couldn't get Florida into the NCAA tournament. Now, he's doing all he can to extend the season.

Calathes had 21 points, Alex Tyus added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and the Gators beat in-state rival Miami 74-60 in the second round of the NIT on Friday night.

Florida (25-10) improved to 18-1 at the O'Connell Center this season, tying a school record for home wins, and advanced to the tournament quarterfinals. The top-seeded Gators will host No. 2 seed Penn State on Tuesday night.

Miami (19-13) got way behind early, trailing by 22 points in the first half, and never recovered. The Hurricanes cut the lead to 11 several times in the second half, but couldn't get any closer.

Dwayne Collins led Miami with 17 points and eight rebounds. Jack McClinton added 13 points.

Florida, much like it did in the first round against Jacksonville, got off to a strong start. The Gators made seven of their first 10 shots, including four from 3-point range, and led 20-2 with 11:36 to play in the first half.

Miami, meanwhile, missed nine of its first 10. The Hurricanes had hoped to get the ball down low and be physical against Florida, a tactic that worked for many Southeastern Conference teams this season.

But Miami's first seven shots were from behind the arc. The Hurricanes missed their first eight 3-point attempts and finally got one to fall when McClinton hit with 9:35 remaining.

Nonetheless, the Gators opened up a 31-9 lead with 7:53 left.

The 'Canes sliced the lead in half thanks mostly to 3s from McClinton, Lance Hurdle, Brian Asbury and Adrian Thomas. But Florida pushed it back to 48-32 at halftime on consecutive hustle plays from Ray Shipman. The freshman grabbed an offensive rebound and drove to the basket with less than a minute to play, then stole a pass in the lane and dribbled the other way in the closing seconds.

Chandler Parsons found Calathes wide open, and the point guard drained a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

The Gators shot a season-high 63 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes and were 8-of-16 from 3-point range. Calathes ended the half with 13 points, four rebounds and six assists.

Florida cooled off in the second half, but Miami did little to mount a comeback.

The Hurricanes were outrebounded 37-25 and finished 7-of-25 from 3-point range. McClinton was 5-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-9 from behind the arc.

It was a bittersweet reunion for McClinton, who played against his former coach at Siena. McClinton played one year at Siena, where current Florida assistant Rob Lanier was the head coach.

The Gators were playing without reserved forward Allan Chaney, who was suspended by coach Billy Donovan for the remainder of the season.

Donovan refused to give a reason for the suspension Friday night, and said it was unclear whether Chaney would be back next season.

The freshman from Baltimore averaged 3.0 points and 2.1 rebounds this season. He missed time because of a stress fracture in his left heel. He tried to return in February, but strained his left arch and was going to sit out the rest of the way.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
FLA
Points 60 74
FG Made-Attempted 23-56 (.411) 26-50 (.520)
3P Made-Attempted 7-25 (.280) 10-27 (.370)
FT Made-Attempted 7-12 (.583) 12-19 (.632)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 13 (0/0)
Largest Lead 0 22

Series

DATEGAMELINKS
» Mar 20, 2009 @FLA 74, MIA 60Recap