Gators rebound from poor shooting, beat Charleston Southern 89-64
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)—Nick Calathes had 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists and Florida rebounded from its worst shooting game of the season with an 89-64 victory over Charleston Southern on Wednesday night.
The Gators (11-1) opened the game with an 18-0 run, a considerably better start than they had against Georgia Southern on Saturday. Florida made just six baskets in the first half, trailed by nine at the break and needed a late comeback to escape with a 52-49 victory.
The Gators were much better against Charleston Southern, making seven shots in the early spurt and shooting 58 percent for the game.
Calathes was 6-of-12 from the floor, and the Gators finished 8-of-19 from 3-point range.
Walter Hodge added 16 points and six assists for Florida. Marreese Speights had 14 points, and Jai Lucas chipped in 12.
Omar Carter led the Buccaneers (5-6) with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Florida struggled down low Saturday, but coach Billy Donovan’s team found another weakness against Charleston Southern: defending the 3-point line.
The Buccaneers were 12-of-22 from behind the arc. They used eight 3s in the first half to slice into the big lead, making it 42-32 with about 40 seconds to go.
It could have been 45-35 at the break, but Giedrius Knysas’ bank shot from midcourt at the buzzer was overturned after officials reviewed the replay. They ruled he didn’t get rid of the ball before the game clock expired.
Florida countered by pounding the ball inside and making the most of its height advantage. The Gators got easy buckets down low and went to the free throw line often. They finished 13-of-22 from the line.
And when the Buccaneers collapsed, the Gators kicked it out for 3s.
Florida next plays at Ohio State, a rematch of last season’s national title game.