FLA
20-15
70
TF 14
FINAL
End
2nd
TNT
Thu Mar. 21
6:50pm
BONUS
61
TF 14
NEVADA
29-5
ML: +128
NEVADA -2.5, O/U 135.5
ML: -156
FLA
NEVADA

No Text

No. 10 seed Florida stops Nevada comeback for 70-61 upset

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Florida was cruising toward a surprisingly easy victory over Nevada in its opening NCAA Tournament game.

Then Nevada furiously tried to stave off the upset with a frantic second-half push that fell just short. Florida nearly squandered a double-digit lead before finally stopping the comeback and closing out a 70-61 Thursday night victory in the West Region.

''I thought we were just watching the clock and hoping a little bit,'' Florida coach Mike White said about Nevada's late push.

Andrew Nembhard, whose last-second shot beat LSU in the Southeastern Conference Tournament last week, drove to the basket for a layup with 1 1/2 minutes left and Florida scored the last seven points after the seventh-seeded Wolf Pack had rallied from down 18 to cut the deficit to just two points.

The Gators (20-15) were the third double-digit seed to win Thursday.

Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points, Jalen Hudson added 15 and the 10th-seeded Gators won their tournament opener for the third straight year.

Cody Martin scored 23 points and twin brother Caleb Martin had 19 for the Wolf Pack (29-5). The two combined for 28 of their team's 33 points in the second half as Nevada rallied.

''They did a great job of speeding us up,'' White said. ''They made us play a little faster. Their run was fantastic. They were getting stops, playing with a crazy amount of energy. We did just enough. We were very fortunate to hold on.''

The Gators controlled the pace into the second half with their deliberate offense, often letting the shot clock run into single digits before shooting. The SEC's top-rated defense clogged passing and driving lanes and contested almost every shot.

''We knew what they were going to do,'' Caleb Martin said. ''Unfortunately, we had a lot of mental breakdowns. We missed some crucial free throws and just didn't get off to a good start.''

KeVaughn Allen made back-to-back shots to start a 12-0 run early in the second half that swelled the Gators' lead to 51-33 with 14 minutes left.

The Wolf Pack began to bother Florida with their full-court press. After Caleb Martin stole the ball from Jalen Hudson in the backcourt and dunked, it was 58-51 with 6 minutes to play. Caleb Martin's two free throws made it 63-61 with 2:02 left, but Nevada could get no closer.

''They really sped us up,'' Hudson said. ''We were playing too fast and making jump passes, which aren't allowed here. With three or four minutes left in the game we were able to snap back in get into our rhythm.''

BIG PICTURE

Florida: The Gators can count on Nembhard in the postseason. He had only eight points against Nevada, but he came up big when needed and stemmed the Wolf Pack's comeback with a dazzling drive to the basket against Jazz Johnson.

Nevada: The Wolf Pack made a run to the Sweet 16 last year after overcoming deficits of 14 points to beat Texas in overtime and 22 to beat Cincinnati. They couldn't finish their comeback against Florida and finish the year with a program record-tying 29 wins.

HE SAID IT

''We just couldn't get over the hump against a team that slows it down. This one will hurt.'' - Cody Martin.

UP NEXT

Florida: The Gators play No. 2 seed Michigan or No. 15 Montana on Saturday.

Nevada: The Wolf Pack go into next season off a two-year stretch of 58 wins, the best in school history.

---

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Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
A. Nembhard
2 G
J. Caroline
24 G
35.4 Min. Per Game 35.4
17.3 Pts. Per Game 17.3
2.0 Ast. Per Game 2.0
9.6 Reb. Per Game 9.6
41.8 Field Goal % 45.2
34.3 Three Point % 36.8
75.5 Free Throw % 62.8
  Offensive rebound by Jazz Johnson 0.0
  Caleb Martin missed 3-pt. jump shot 2.0
+ 1 Keyontae Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 6.0
+ 1 Keyontae Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 6.0
  Personal foul on Caleb Martin 6.0
  Defensive rebound by Andrew Nembhard 11.0
  Cody Martin missed 3-pt. jump shot 13.0
+ 1 KeVaughn Allen made 2nd of 2 free throws 33.0
+ 1 KeVaughn Allen made 2nd of 2 free throws 33.0
  KeVaughn Allen missed 1st of 2 free throws 33.0
  Personal foul on Jazz Johnson 33.0
Team Stats
Points 70 61
Field Goals 24-53 (45.3%) 19-55 (34.5%)
3-Pointers 5-18 (27.8%) 5-24 (20.8%)
Free Throws 17-22 (77.3%) 18-25 (72.0%)
Total Rebounds 31 40
Offensive 9 18
Defensive 19 19
Team 3 3
Assists 10 4
Steals 8 7
Blocks 5 5
Turnovers 9 14
Fouls 19 23
Technicals 0 0
16 PTS, 3 REB
23 PTS, 5 REB
12T
away team logo 10 Florida 20-15 373370
home team logo 7 Nevada 29-5 283361
Team Stats
away team logo 10 Florida 20-15 67.8 PPG 36.3 RPG 12.1 APG
home team logo 7 Nevada 29-5 80.1 PPG 40.1 RPG 14.6 APG
Key Players
13
K. Hayes C 8.3 PPG 6.3 RPG 0.7 APG 67.3 FG%
00
Co. Martin F PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
K. Hayes C 16 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
Co. Martin F 23 PTS 5 REB 0 AST
45.3 FG% 34.5
27.8 3PT FG% 20.8
77.3 FT% 72.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Hayes 16 3 0 5/6 0/0 6/8 5 26 1 3 1 1 2
J. Hudson 15 3 1 5/13 3/7 2/2 3 36 1 1 1 1 2
K. Allen 10 1 2 3/7 1/5 3/4 2 31 1 1 1 0 1
K. Johnson 10 10 2 3/14 0/3 4/4 4 34 3 0 1 5 5
A. Nembhard 8 7 5 4/6 0/0 0/1 2 38 2 0 2 0 7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Hayes 16 3 0 5/6 0/0 6/8 5 26 1 3 1 1 2
J. Hudson 15 3 1 5/13 3/7 2/2 3 36 1 1 1 1 2
K. Allen 10 1 2 3/7 1/5 3/4 2 31 1 1 1 0 1
K. Johnson 10 10 2 3/14 0/3 4/4 4 34 3 0 1 5 5
A. Nembhard 8 7 5 4/6 0/0 0/1 2 38 2 0 2 0 7
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Locke 5 0 0 1/3 1/3 2/2 0 21 0 0 0 0 0
D. Bassett 4 3 0 2/3 0/0 0/1 3 11 0 0 1 1 2
I. Stokes 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 2 1 0
K. Stone - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Gak - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Ballard - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Okauru - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Fava - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Krause - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 70 28 10 24/53 5/18 17/22 19 200 8 5 9 9 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Co. Martin 23 5 0 8/12 2/5 5/5 4 40 3 0 2 1 4
Ca. Martin 19 8 1 5/22 2/11 7/9 4 38 4 0 6 4 4
J. Caroline 7 10 0 2/11 0/4 3/7 1 38 0 1 3 7 3
T. Thurman 7 8 1 2/5 0/2 3/4 5 35 0 3 2 3 5
T. Porter 2 3 1 1/3 0/0 0/0 2 14 0 1 0 2 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Co. Martin 23 5 0 8/12 2/5 5/5 4 40 3 0 2 1 4
Ca. Martin 19 8 1 5/22 2/11 7/9 4 38 4 0 6 4 4
J. Caroline 7 10 0 2/11 0/4 3/7 1 38 0 1 3 7 3
T. Thurman 7 8 1 2/5 0/2 3/4 5 35 0 3 2 3 5
T. Porter 2 3 1 1/3 0/0 0/0 2 14 0 1 0 2 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Johnson 3 3 1 1/2 1/2 0/0 4 31 0 0 1 1 2
C. Henson 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
J. Brown 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
N. Zouzoua - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Drew - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Cunningham - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Harris - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Townsell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Hymes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 61 37 4 19/55 5/24 18/25 23 200 7 5 14 18 19