Three observations following Florida’s 111-105 double-overtime win against Gonzaga in the PK80 Tournament:
— In an epic game, senior point guard Chris Chiozza showed leadership, durability, toughness and a continued knack for making big shots in big spots. Chiozza’s career-high 26 points and 10 assists didn’t tell the full story of his impact — though back-to-back 3-pointers by Jalen Hudson and Chiozza in double OT put the Gators (5-0) ahead to stay 103-97. Chiozza’s veteran savvy allowed him to keep his head in the game and stay 46 minutes on the floor, shake off 5 early turnovers and play the entire overtime with 4 fouls while maintaining an aggressive pace. There were more than a few instances when Chiozza wasn’t afraid to take contact in the lane to get to the basket or draw a foul.
— Hudson set a career-high with 35 points and brought the Gators back with eight 3-pointers in the second half and overtime. At times Hudson can be a shot-hound, but Florida needed a player to emerge offensively in the second half with forward Egor Koulechov (1-9) struggling from the floor. Hudson came up with a big blocked shot in the second overtime as well. In addition, can’t underestimate the performance of junior guard KeVaughn Allen who hit a big driving layup to tie the game in regulation and force OT and went 11 of 11 from the foul line to help close the game out in double-OT. Allen scored 23 points despite going just 2 of 9 from 3-point range, a sign that he can score in other ways when his perimeter shots aren’t falling.
— Florida was outscored 52-24 in the paint and had no answers inside to deal with Gonzaga senior forward Johnathan Williams, who scored a career-high 39 points on 16 of 22 shooting from the floor. Junior center Kevarrius Hayes lasted just 24 minutes on the floor before fouling out and 6-8, 240 pound Keith Stone similarly couldn’t handle the 6-9, 228 pound Williams inside. Interior defense is going to be an issue until senior center John Egbunu returns in January. Until then, the Gators are going to need to be creative with double teams in the post.
The game against No. 1 Duke (7-0) is set for 10:30 p.m. Sunday with coverage on ESPN.