Gators survive to face No. 11 Gonzaga – Gainesville Sun
Kevin Brockway @gatorhoops
LAKE BUENA VISTA — Florida showed toughness and resolve in its first big test of the season Thursday night against Seton Hall.
Behind 21 points from sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen and 20 points from senior forward Canyon Barry, the Gators overcame constant foul trouble and the hot-shooting of Seton Hall guard Khadeen Carrington to beat the Pirates 81-76 in its opening game of the AdvoCare Invitational.
The Gators (5-0) move on to face No. 11 Gonzaga tonight at 9:30 (ESPNU) in the tournament semifinals. Gonzaga beat Quinnipiac 82-62 earlier Thursday night.
For the Gators, it was a struggle throughout. Three of UF’s players — sophomore forward Devin Robinson, senior point guard Kasey Hill and junior point guard Chris Chiozza — fouled out before the final buzzer. Carrington led Seton Hall (3-1) with 28 points but fouled out himself with 20.5 seconds remaining.
It was Carrington who cut Florida’s lead to 73-71 with a three-point play with 1:23 left. But then, after a Florida miss, Allen came up with a steal on a loose ball at midcourt. Then, Allen found a driving lane to his right and banked in a shot to put Florida up 75-71 with 54.5 seconds left.
“When I saw the ball in the air, I thought I had an opportunity to steal it,” Allen said. “I made an intelligent gamble and got it.”
From there, Florida closed the game out by making six of its last eight free-throw attempts. The Gators went 21 of 29 from the line for the game
“It was tough, but we were able to keep our head, keep our composure,” Chiozza said. “We were able to come out on top and that’s the most important part.”
Said Florida coach Mike White: “To beat a team with this caliber with Devin sitting over by