Gators get Gonzaga rematch in PK80

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Florida's Deaundrae Ballard shoots over Stanford's Oscar Da Silva in the second half Thursday during the Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

No. 7 Florida will get its first test of the season against a ranked team when it faces No. 17 Gonzaga tonight in the PK80 Tournament motion bracket semifinals in Portland, Ore. The game will start at 11:30 p.m. and air on ESPN2.

The Gators (4-0) advanced by sinking 15 3-pointers in a 108-87 win over Stanford late Thursday night. Gonzaga (4-0) moved on with an 86-59 win over Ohio State. The Florida-Gonzaga matchup is a rematch of last season’s semifinals in the AdvoCare Classic at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, which Gonzaga won 77-72.

Florida junior center Kevarrius Hayes is expected to return tonight after serving a one-game suspension for violation of team rules.

“It’s a next-guy-up mentality,” said Florida senior forward Egor Koulechov, who scored a team-high 26 points in the win over Stanford. “I think we did a good job today of rallying around each other and stepping up. Keith (Stone) had to move to the 5 and I had to move to the 4. You adjust throughout the game. Guys were hitting shots. I thought we were really unselfish. When you play like that, I think it really helps when you’re down a guy or two.”

Gonzaga returns two starters — forward Johnathan Williams and guard Josh Perkins — from a team that went 37-2 and reached the NCAA Finals last season.

Other Florida notes from last night’s Stanford win:

  • Chris Chiozza set a career high with 11 asssists and scored a season-high 14 points to notch a double-double.
  • Jalen Hudson picked up his first 4-point play as a Gator. It was UF’s second of the season, as Koulechov recorded one against UNF (11/16).
  • Coming off a 22-point second half last outing, Hudson posted 17 points in the first 13 minutes, giving him 39 points over a 33-minute span of game time.
  • Hudson and Koulechov each scored 17 in the first half as the Gators shot 13-for-18 (.722) from 3-point range in the first half. Koulechov hit all 5 of his attempts, while Hudson knocked down 4 of 6.
  • Keith Stone drew two charges and has a team-leading three drawn charges this season.

1 COMMENT

  1. Ok Kevin. Tonight is the first test. We are loaded with high percentage shooters. When Egbunu gets back – we’ll be a very complete team. I think shooting percentage wise – this team will ultimately be our best ever.