GAINESVILLE — Nick Calathes and Alex Tyus helped Florida camouflage its most glaring weakness against Stetson. The Gators will need to find ways to do the same thing in the SEC.
Calathes scored a season-high 23, Tyus added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Florida beat Stetson 78-57 Tuesday despite giving up 20 offensive rebounds.
The Gators (11-2) struggled last season defending and rebounding against athletic teams, and it appears little has changed. Stetson, which had one starter taller than 6 feet 5, outrebounded Florida 43-40 and got many of its offensive rebounds by breaking down the defense off the dribble to create difficult blockout assignments.
"There's just certain teams that are hard matchups for us," UF coach Billy Donovan said. "If there's an area that our frontcourt has to get better at, we've got to get better reacting. We've got to find some answers."
What does Tyus think about Donovan's reminders that the Gators are perceived as soft?
"Uhhh … we're getting better," the sophomore forward said.
The Gators open SEC play Jan. 10 at home against Mississippi, after home games Saturday against N.C. State and Tuesday against Longwood.
Florida won its fifth straight and eighth in the last nine games, and extended its winning streak against the Hatters (5-5) to 15.
In other news, Florida sophomore forward Adam Allen had arthroscopic knee surgery and is likely to take a medical redshirt.
No. 4 OU's unbeaten run ends at Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Michael Washington had 24 points and 11 rebounds, holding his own against Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, and Arkansas handed the fourth-ranked Sooners their first loss 96-88.
The Razorbacks led by 25 in the second half before the Sooners nearly pulled off a rally. Oklahoma (12-1) cut the margin to 81-77, but Washington scored Arkansas' next seven points.
Freshman Willie Warren scored 35 for the Sooners; Griffin had 21 points and 13 rebounds.
No. 6 Wake 83, Radford 61: The host Deacons (12-0), in danger of getting upset as they struggled to solve defenses that changed from man-to-man and two zones, benched the starters then put them back in and went on a 36-13 run in the final 14 minutes. "There was nothing else to say to those first five guys," coach Dino Gaudio said, "so I just let them sit and watch."
Ill. 71, No. 9 Purdue 67, OT: Mike Tisdale scored 18 and the visiting Illini won their seventh straight in the Big Ten opener for both teams. The Boilermakers (11-3) were 15-of-27 from the line and shot 38 percent from the field. Robbie Hummel, Purdue's top scorer, took seven shots and scored seven. With 1.9 seconds left in regulation, Purdue's JaJuan Johnson made the first free throw to tie it, but missed the second.
No. 13 Syracuse 100, Seton Hall 76: Andy Rautins hit 7-of-10 3-pointers and scored 26 as the host Orange (13-1) won the Big East opener for both teams. In the past five games, Syracuse has shot 40-for-91 on 3-pointers, nearly 44 percent.
No. 20 Clemson 98, S.C. 87: Terrence Oglesby hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 25 for the visiting Tigers (13-0). Devan Downey scored a career-high 37 for the Gamecocks, who have lost five straight to Clemson.
No. 25 Butler 72, UAB 68: The host Bulldogs (11-1) rallied from 11 down. UAB coach Mike Davis made his first appearance in Indiana since resigning as Hoosiers coach in 2006.
San Diego 64, Miss. St. 61, OT: Trumaine Johnson scored 17 for the visiting Toreros.
Southern Miss 78, Miss. 59: Courtney Beasley scored 19, one of five players in double figures for the visiting Golden Eagles.
UCF 89, Chicago State 75: Jermaine Taylor scored 38 as the Knights (8-4) won their third straight UCF Holiday Classic title. Taylor was named tournament MVP for the second straight year.
Bethune-Cookman 55, Savannah State 29: C.J. Reed scored 14 for the visiting Wildcats (6-6).
Fla. Gulf Coast 71, Army 60: Reed Baker scored 26 for the host Eagles (5-8).
FSU HONOR: Florida State senior guard Toney Douglas, who had 27 points, five assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in Sunday's win against Western Kentucky, was named the ACC's player of the week.
TENNESSEE: Center Wayne Chism, who was carried off on a stretcher after a hard fall during a game Monday, bruised his spine and elbow and will make a full recovery, possibly returning this week, the team said.