FINAL: FLORIDA 111, GONZAGA 105 (2OT)
PORTLAND, OR- #7 Florida vs #17 Gonzaga. It was a game for the ages. A double-overtime thriller between two ranked teams. And with any luck, maybe we will see this matchup again come March or April.
Behind the incredible efforts of senior Chris Chiozza, junior Jalen Hudson, and junior KeVaughn Allen, the Florida Gators outlasted the Gonzaga Bulldogs in double-overtime in the semifinal of the Phil Knight 80 Invitational.
The Gators shot poorly in the first half, resulting in a season low 29 points in the opening period. But Florida was able to find their stroke. Namely, Jalen Hudson was able to start knocking down shots. Hudson finished with 35 points despite only having four points at the intermission. Hudson knocked down eight of his twelve attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
Florida was trailing 78-76 after a three point play by Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins, but Allen scored on a quick drive to the basket to force the tie with only 31 seconds remaining in regulation. The Bulldogs Silas Melson missed a jumper to force the initial overtime period.
In the first overtime period, Chiozza completed a three point play to put Florida on top 95-93 with only 9 seconds remaining. Melson hit a quick layup and drew a foul on sophomore Keith Stone, but missed the free throw. What ensued was chaos. Graduate transfer Egor Koulechov rebounded the missed free throw but took three steps prior to throwing the ball down the length of the court, resulting in a traveling violation. Gonzaga inbounded the ball with 0.9 remaining on the clock. While defending the inbound, Chiozza got caught looking at the ball, and Melson got an open look at the basket. Fortunately for Florida, the shot rimmed out.
After trading layups to begin the second overtime session, Florida went on a 6-0 run on back to back three pointers by Hudson and Chiozza. Florida would never look back en route a 111-105 victory that finished at 2:20 AM EST.
Chiozza finished two rebounds short of a triple-double (26 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds) while Allen finished with 23 points. Koulechov finished the game with only four points on 1-9 shooting including 0-4 from three-point land.
Florida improves to 5-0 and gets a big win toward their NCAA Tournament resume. The Gators will face Duke in the PK80 Invitational Motion Bracket Championship game on Sunday.
- FLORIDA: 5-0
- GONZAGA: 4-1
Florida advances in the winners side of the Motion Bracket of the Phil Knight 80 Invitational. Florida will face #1 Duke in the championship game on Sunday. Duke defeated Texas 85-78 in overtime on Friday.
Florida vs Duke
November 26, 2017
10:30 PM / Portland, OR