Florida 82, Creighton 54

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Nick Calathes got into Florida's record books twice Friday night.

Calathes' triple double -- 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists -- led the Gators to a 82-54 victory Friday night over Creighton, moving the defending two-time national champions into next week's quarterfinals of the National Invitational Tournament.

Calathes got the rare trifecta -- just the second in Florida basketball history -- with a layup late in the game that gave the Gators a 72-39 lead.

"My teammates made it happen," Calathes said. "They found me for my points."

Calathes also became the first player in Florida history to collect 200 assists in a season when he dished out his second of early in the game.

"He (Calathes) had a great game and took only seven shots," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "He affected the game in a lot of different ways."

"His basketball savvy and vision is so good," Creighton coach Dana Altman marveled about Calathes. "Billy's going to have a lot of fun coaching him the next three years."

It was the second straight impressive NIT win for Florida, which routed San Diego State 73-49 in a first-round game Wednesday. The Gators have won 20 of their last 21 postseason games as they head for Arizona State and a Tuesday quarterfinal game.

"We came here with the intention of competing and really got shell-shocked early and really never gave them a game," Altman said. "We panicked a little bit."

Florida (23-11) used a 14-0 spurt midway through the first half to take a 29-12 lead on its way to a 39-19 halftime advantage that amped to 49-21 with a 10-2 getaway in the second half.

Walter Hodge led Florida's balanced attack with 15 points while Marreese Speights added 14 and Jai Lucas 10.

Florida played one of its best halves of the season, forcing Creighton into a dozen turnovers while committing just four of their own on its way to the 20-point halftime lead.

Cavel Witter scored 13 points and Dane Watts 10 for Creighton (22-11). The Bluejays advanced with a 74-73 first-round victory over Rhode Island.


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