Minutemen Cook Gators in NIT
Sophomore center Marreese Speights had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, but Massachusetts overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to end the University of Florida men's basketball team's season, 78-66, in the semifinals of the NIT on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Gators finish with a 24-12 record and their 10th straight 20-win season, a streak that ranks as the fifth longest mark in the nation. The Minute Men (25-10) advance to Thursday's NIT championship game against the second semifinal winner between Ole Miss and Ohio State.
Freshman guard Nick Calathes added 12 points.
UMass forward Dante Milligan led all scorers with 17 points and contributed several key blocks late. The Minute Men, who were sluggish from the field early, responded with a 53-percent effort in the second half and outshot Florida, 42 percent to 39 percent, for the game. UMass outscored the Gators, 51-30, in the second half.
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