GAINESVILLE -- Just booked my flight to New York. Didn't think I'd be visiting the Big Apple again until December for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
But, who'd a thunk it, the Gators basketball team decided to finally grow up and now Gator Clause is heading to New York for the NIT semis. Quite an impressive game tonight for the Gators. And way out in Tempe, Ariz., no less. Florida beat the ASU Sun Devils 70-57 and once again looked sharp doing it. The Gators shot 60.5 percent and had 23 assists.
Keys the game? Crisp ball movement by the Gators helped break Arizona State's zone and give the Florida open looks from distance. Led by Nick Calathes' nine, Florida had 23 assists, which led to 12-of-25 three-pointers.
Walter Hodge exploded for 18 points (4-of-8 from three-point range) and had a season-high seven assists. Chandler Parsons came off the bench to score 15 points, including two timely three-pointers late in the game.
Florida plays Massachusetts next Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Minute Men knocked off Syracuse 81-77.