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November 25, 2008

Washington can't finish late comeback

KANSAS CITY, Mo.(AP) Nick Calathes scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and No. 17 Florida held off a late rally to beat Washington 86-84 Tuesday night in the consolation game of the CBE Classic.

Florida (4-1) had been in a bit of a slump from the perimeter, shooting 8-of-39 from 3-point range the previous two games. The Gators were much better against Washington, working the ball around for open looks, hitting 11-of-22 from beyond the arc, shooting 52 percent overall.

Florida just couldn't completely shake Washington (2-3).

After trailing by 10 points with just under 5 minutes left, the Huskies chipped away, tying it at 81-all on two free throws by Jon Brockman with 1:23 left. Walter Hodge followed with a 3-pointer from the corner to put Florida up by 3, then Isaiah Thomas hit two free throws with 50 seconds left.

After Calathes and Allan Chaney each hit 1 of 2 free throws to put the Gators up 86-83, Florida fouled Thomas with 2.5 seconds left. Thomas hit one free throw and Brockman got the rebound when the freshman purposely missed the second, but his fadeaway from the corner came up short at the buzzer.

Brockman had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Thomas finished with 17 points and nine assists, and Justin Dentmon added 17 points.

Chaney and Dan Werner had 13 points each, and Erving Walker was 4-for-6 from 3-point range for 12 points.

The Huskies had trouble with Kansas' zone defense and were plagued by poor shot selection in the semifinals, shooting 29 percent in a 73-54 loss.

Washington was much better against Florida, going through the post to get easy shots inside and along the perimeter. The Huskies were 14-for-24 from the floor in the first half and shot 60 percent overall.

Washington just couldn't stop Florida at the other end, particularly Calathes.

The sophomore guard filled the playmaking role in the first half, with five assists while the Gators hit 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Calathes took over the offense in the second half, repeatedly beating the Huskies off the dribble, scoring on a pair of 3-point plays to push the Gators' lead to 76-59 with just under 6 minutes left.

Calathes finished with eight assists.

Brockman faced constant double teams in the first half, getting just six points and four rebounds at halftime. But the constant attention inside freed up Washington's perimeter shooters on kickouts, particularly Dentmon.

Spotting up in the corner and the left wing, the senior guard hit all four of his 3-point shots and had 14 points by halftime after going 1-for-5 against Kansas.

Brockman created a little more room for himself in the second half, powering to the rim in the post, crashing in for offensive rebounds and putbacks. He finished 10-for-14 from the floor after getting just seven points against Kansas.



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