No. 8 Florida holds off New Hampshire
Jalen Hudson scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as No. 8 Florida defeated New Hampshire 70-63 in a nonconference game on Sunday night in Gainesville, Fla.
Hudson made just one basket and two free throws in the first half but took off in the final 20 minutes.
The junior guard made a number of key shots while contributing most of the team’s 38 second-half points, helping Florida (3-0) hold off stubborn New Hampshire (1-2). Hudson sank 11 of 12 free throws.
The Gators scored more than 100 points in each of their first two games, racking up 224 overall in wins over Gardner-Webb and North Florida, but their shooting touch wasn’t as good in this game.
Florida shot just 32.1 percent from the field (18 of 56) against New Hampshire. The Gators also missed 15 of 18 3-point attempts and finished with just three assists.
Free throws might have saved the Gators. Florida made 31 of 38 from the line and New Hampshire (9 of 10) did not get nearly as many chances.
Still, the Wildcats hung around until the final minutes. They cut the Gators’ lead to 66-63 when senior forward Tanner Leissner made a shot with 2:02 remaining.
However, the Gators scored the game’s final four points and hung on for their third win in a week.
Florida’s offensive problems began early. The Gators shot just 28 percent from the field in the first half and made only eight baskets in a 32-32 halftime tie.
Leissner helped the Wildcats stay close with his team-high 23 points, and Elijah Jordan added 12 points. New Hampshire made 10 of 25 3-point tries but shot just 36.1 percent from the floor overall.