Florida defeats JU in NIT first round
GAINESVILLE - Whatever disappointment they felt from not making the NCAA Tournament didn't linger into Wednesday night's game.
GAINESVILLE - Florida opened the first round of the National Invitation Tournament with an 84-62 victory over Jacksonville University (18-14) in front of 4,350 at the O’Connell Center.
The win set up a second-round, in-state showdown for the Gators.
Florida (24-10) will host Miami (19-12), Friday at 7 p.m. The Hurricanes defeated Providence 78-66 Wednesday night.
UF sophomore forward Chandler Parsons did not start for the first time in 28 games, but came off the bench and scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. Nick Calathes had a game-high 19 points and six assists.
“Those guys wanted to go the NCAA Tournament, they wanted to play,’’ Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “But I give them credit that they came out tonight, they said we’ve got an opportunity to play and they came out and played hard and played well. I don’t think they pouted or felt sorry for themselves. They wanted to give a good effort.’’