PORTLAND, Ore. — Jalen Hudson couldn’t wait to get back to Florida’s locker room to celebrate with his teammates after a thrilling double-overtime victory over Gonzaga.
Hudson had a career-high 35 points, including eight 3s, and the No. 7 Gators downed the No. 17 Bulldogs 111-105 late Friday at the PK80 Invitational.
Florida faces No. 1 Duke (7-0) tonight (about 11, ESPN) in the bracket championship. It’s the second consecutive season the teams will face each other. The Gators lost to the Blue Devils 87-74 last year in Madison Square Garden at the Jimmy V Classic.
"We played really tough. We never quit. They made a lot of big plays, like huge plays, big shots, Hudson said after Friday’s win. "We just never quit, never folded."
"Such an emotional long game," coach Mike White said after the game ended about 2:45 a.m. Saturday. "I don’t know where to start. Crazy game and just really proud to have been a part of it."
Coach Mark Few, who led Gonzaga to the NCAA title game last season before losing to North Carolina, called the game "epic."
"We had our chances to win it and didn’t get it done," he said. "They hit some big shots and got it done. It wasn’t because of a lack of effort on our part or lack of execution on our part or anything like that. They just won."
Point guard Chris Chiozza added a career-high 26 points and 10 assists for the Gators (5-0).
Hudson hit a 3 with 1:41 left in the second overtime to put the Gators up 106-99. Gonzaga closed within 106-102 on Johnathan Williams’ layup, then within 109-105 on Corey Kispert’s 3 with 11 seconds to go but failed to get closer.
The matchup with Duke will be a chance for the Gators to prove themselves against a team that has had no shortage of hype. UF has averaged nearly 110 points in this tournament — and is averaging more than 100 in its five games this season — behind its dynamic guards, but it will be facing two potential player of the year candidates in Grayson Allen, who is from Jacksonville, and super freshman Marvin Bagley, who will be going against a relatively unproven UF interior.
Florida is 2-14 all time against the nation’s No. 1 team, both wins coming in the NCAA Tournament: 2000 Sweet 16 against Duke and 2007 national title game against Ohio State.
Tonight’s game also holds extra interest for White, whose father, Kevin, is the longtime athletic director at Duke.
NO. 11 MIAMI 86, N. FLORIDA 65: Bruce Brown and Anthony Lawrence scored 14 each to lead the host Hurricanes (5-0).
3 ON THE FLOOR: No. 25 Alabama (5-1) finished its 89-84 loss to No. 14 Minnesota (7-0) at the Barclays Center Classic final in New York with three players thanks to having all of its bench ejected, a foul-out and an injury. The game was marred by a near brawl involving Minnesota’s Dupree McBrayer and Alabama’s Dazon Ingram 6:21 into the second half. Alabama’s Donta Hall, Alex Reese, Daniel Giddens, Herbert Jones and Avery Johnson Jr., son of the team’s head coach, came off the bench and were ejected. Ingram, who had four fouls at the time, later fouled out. Nearly three minutes later, Alabama lost John Petty to a leg injury, leaving the Tide with three players for the final 10-plus minutes. The Gophers saw a 17-point second-half lead cut to three with under two minutes left but held on. "That was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever been a part of," Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy said.
Women: Bulls fall
ESTERO — Jackie Young scored 23, Arike Ogunbowale added 21 and No. 6 Notre Dame (5-0) overcame a stellar performance by Kitija Laksa to beat No. 17 USF 76-66 in the Gulf Coast Showcase semifinals. Laksa scored 36 for USF (5-1), hitting 9 of 11 3s.
NO. 1 UCONN 96, MICH. ST. 62: Azura Stevens reached 1,000 points for her career for the Huskies (5-0) at the PK80 Invitational in Eugene, Ore.
NO. 2 TEXAS 92, WASH. 68: Jatarie White was 10-of-12 from the field and had 24 to lead the Longhorns (5-0) at the Las Vegas Shootout.
NO. 3 S.C. 76, ST. JOHN’S 58: Alexis Jennings scored 25, A’ja Wilson scored 17 and the Gamecocks (6-0) held on in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
NO. 5 UCLA 72, CREIGHTON 63: Kennedy Burke had 17 points to lead the Bruins (5-1) in the Las Vegas Shootout.
NO. 7 MISS. ST. 67, GREEN BAY 46: Victoria Vivians scored 17 and Roshunda Johnson added 14 to lead the Bulldogs (6-0) in the Cancun (Mexico) Challenge.
NO. 8 BAYLOR 80, GA. TECH 57: Kalani Brown scored 23 and Lauren Cox had 22 to lead the Bears (5-1) in the championship game of the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas.
No. 10 Okla. 92, Oregon 74: Sabrina Ionescu scored 28 and Ruthy Hebard had 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead Ducks (5-1) at the PK80 Invitational.