Florida edges Kansas in battle of national college basketball powers

By Mark Long | Associated Press Published:

By Mark Long | Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Scottie Wilbekin scored a career-high 18 points, Dorian Finney-Smith added 15 and No. 19 Florida held on to beat No. 13 Kansas 67-61 on Tuesday night.

The Gators bounced back from a buzzer-beater loss at No. 9 Connecticut last week and extended their home-winning streak to 21 games. The latest victory came in the Big 12-SEC Challenge and surely will be meaningful when the NCAA tournament seeds are settled in March.

Wilbekin, who injured his right ankle against the Huskies eight days ago, made 7 of 12 shots and added six assists.

Freshman Andrew Wiggins led the Jayhawks (6-3) with 26 points and 11 rebounds -- his first double-double and both career highs. Kansas has lost two straight.

The Gators (7-2) went on a 21-0 run and led by as many as 18 points in the first half, but Kansas made it 60-55 on Wiggins' 3-pointer with 55.8 seconds remaining. It was his second 3 in the final 1:20.

Florida closed it out from the free-throw line -- barely.

The Jayhawks fouled center Patric Young down the stretch, and the big man missed all of his free throws. It got even more dicey for the Gators when Casey Prather, one of Florida's top free-throw shooters, missed two with 22 seconds remaining.

Jamari Traylor hit two on the other end, cutting Florida's lead to 65-61 with 10.9 seconds left. Florida freshman Kasey Hill ended any chance of a comeback by draining two free throws.

Aside from Wiggins, who made 7 of 15 shots, Kansas had no one else score in double figures.

E. Michigan 67, Green Bay 58

YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Ray Lee scored 17 points to help Eastern Michigan snap a three-game losing streak with a 67-58 victory over Green Bay Tuesday night.

Lee was 5 of 9 from the field, including two 3-pointers, as the Eagles (5-3) took control of the game with a 12-0 run midway through the first half to build a lead that would never be challenged. Karrington Ward, who entered the game averaging 16.5 points per game, was held to 13 points but hauled in seven rebounds. Da'Shonte Riley and Mike Talley added 11 apiece.

Green Bay (5-3) outscored the Eagles in the second half 40-38 but never drew closer than seven points in the final stretch. Alec Brown led the Phoenix with a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Keifer Sykes added 13 points.

Eastern Michigan shot 43.9 percent from the field and had six fewer turnovers than Green Bay's 18.

Indiana 81, Oakland 54

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Evan Gordon scored a season-high 26 points and had the crowd chanting his name in Indiana's 81-54 rout of Oakland on Tuesday night.

The senior guard added five rebounds and shot 10-of-12 from the field to help the Hoosiers improve to 8-2 with their second straight victory.

Troy Williams scored 13 points, Yogi Ferrell had 10 and Noah Vonleh finished with eight points and 10 rebounds as the Hoosiers shot 50 percent from the field. Indiana extended its nonconference home winning streak to 36.

Oakland (2-8) lost its 11th straight away from home.

Xavier 63, Evansville 60

CINCINNATI -- Semaj Christon scored 19 points and rallied Xavier from a 13-point deficit in the second half to a 63-60 victory over Evansville Tuesday night in the renewal of an old Ohio River basketball rivalry.

Christon led a 23-8 run that got Xavier (7-3) ahead. He went only 3 of 14 from the field but was 13 of 17 from the free-throw line, a place where he'd struggled all season.

Evansville (6-4) had a shot to tie, but D.J. Balentine's long 3-pointer went off the back of the rim in the closing seconds.

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