Washington's Rally Falls Short Against Florida, 86-84

Nov. 25, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Washington's Jon Brockman squeezed between two Florida players, tracked down teammate Isaiah Thomas' missed free throw and flipped up a fadeaway from the corner at the buzzer.

It came up just short--and Florida's bench let out a collective sigh of relief.

Nick Calathes scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and No. 17 Florida held off a late rally to beat Washington 86-84 Tuesday night in the consolation game of the CBE Classic.

'We've got to be able to finish the game out,' said Calathes, who also had eight assists. 'It was definitely closer than we wanted.'

Florida (4-1) had been in a bit of a slump from the perimeter, shooting 8-of-39 from 3-point range the previous two games. The Gators were much better against Washington, working the ball around for open looks, hitting 11-of-22 from beyond the arc, shooting 52 percent overall.

Florida just couldn't completely shake Washington (2-3).

After trailing by 10 points with just under 5 minutes left, the Huskies chipped away, tying it at 81-all on two free throws by Brockman with 1:23 left. Walter Hodge followed with a 3-pointer from the corner to put Florida up by 3, then Thomas hit two free throws with 50 seconds left.

After Calathes and Allan Chaney each hit 1 of 2 free throws to put the Gators up 86-83, Florida fouled Thomas with 2.5 seconds left. Thomas hit one free throw and Brockman got the rebound when the freshman purposely missed the second, but his fadeaway from the corner hit front rim at the buzzer.

'I thought it was going, but sometimes you come up a little short,' said Brockman, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Chaney and Dan Werner had 13 points each, and Erving Walker was 4-for-6 from 3-point range for 12 points.

The Huskies had trouble with Kansas' zone defense and were plagued by poor shot selection in the semifinals, shooting 29 percent in a 73-54 loss.

Washington was much better against Florida, going through the post to get easy shots inside and along the perimeter. The Huskies were 14-for-24 from the floor in the first half and shot 60 percent overall.

Thomas finished with 17 points and nine assists, and Justin Dentmon added 17 points.

'I thought the team responded really well from yesterday,' Brockman said. 'I think we executed our offense a lot better. Yesterday was a one man show with four other guys watching and tonight all five guys were working together to score.'

Washington just couldn't stop Florida at the other end, particularly Calathes.

The sophomore guard filled the playmaking role in the first half, with five assists while the Gators hit 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Calathes took over the offense in the second half, repeatedly beating the Huskies off the dribble, scoring on a pair of 3-point plays to push the Gators' lead to 76-59 with just under 6 minutes left.

'Florida is a tough team to defend,' Washington coach Lorenzo Bomar said.

So is Brockman.

The rugged senior faced constant double teams in the first half, getting just six points and four rebounds at halftime. But the constant attention inside freed up Washington's perimeter shooters on kickouts, particularly Dentmon.

Spotting up in the corner and the left wing, the junior guard hit all four of his 3-point shots and had 14 points by halftime after going 1-for-5 against Kansas.

Brockman created a little more room for himself in the second half, powering to the rim in the post, crashing in for offensive rebounds and putbacks. He finished 10-for-14 from the floor after getting just seven points against Syracuse.

Brockman helped Washington shoot 19-of-32 in the second half, the fourth straight half Florida has allowed to hit at least 50 percent of its shots.

'We've got to find ways to get better on defense. We gave up some easy baskets,' Florida coach Billy Donovan said. 'I don't think either team set the world on fire defensively looking at the shooting percentages.'

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