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Nick Calathes, Florida Gators edge Washington in basketball

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 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. Tuesday, the Gators hit 11-of-22 from beyond the arc and shot 52 percent overall.

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

Trailing by 10 with just under five minutes left, the Huskies chipped away, tying it at 81 on two free throws by Jon Brockman with 1:23 left. Walter Hodge hit a 3-pointer from the corner for Florida, and Isaiah Thomas hit two free throws with 50 seconds left for Washington.

Calathes and Allan Chaney each hit a free throw to put the Gators up 86-83, and Thomas was fouled with 2.5 seconds left. Thomas hit one free throw, and Brockman got the rebound when the freshman purposely missed the second. Brockman's fadeaway from the corner was short at the buzzer.

"We've got to be able to finish the game out," said Calathes, who also had eight assists. "It was definitely closer than we wanted."

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

Washington got through the post to get easy shots inside and along the perimeter. The Huskies shot 60 percent but couldn't stop Florida, 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, beating the Huskies off the dribble and scoring on a pair of three-point plays to push the Gators' lead to 76-59 with just under six minutes left.

"Florida is a tough team to defend," Washington coach Lorenzo Bomar said.

Florida next plays Missouri-Kansas City at 1 p.m. Sunday in Orlando (Sun Sports).

"We've got to find ways to get better on defense. We gave up some easy baskets," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "I don't think either team set the world on fire defensively looking at the shooting percentages."

Nick Calathes, Florida Gators edge Washington in basketball 11/25/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 4:55pm]
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