Gators Host Creighton in NIT

The Florida Gators are 0-for-2 in their only two meetings against Creighton, but on Friday night, they'll be looking to break that streak against the Bluejays in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament. The winner advances to the bracket final and a chance to head to New York for the NIT Final Four.

Creighton advanced to the second round after a dramatic win against Rhode Island. The Jays trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half before Caval Witter's 3-point basket with three second left gave Creighton the one-point win. The Gators rolled past San Diego State on Wednesday night to set up the match-up with the Blue Jays.

Creighton finished fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 10-8 conference record. Overall, the Jays were 22-10. Three of Creighton's losses came to No. 14 ranked Drake who won the MVC and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. They also dropped an early season match-up to Xavier who knocked Georgia out of the Big Dance yesterday afternoon.

Creighton can score, averaging more than 72 points per game. They are a 3-point shooting team taking more than 60 percent of their shots from behind the arc. Led by P'Allen Stinnett, the 6-3 freshman guard averages 12.1 points per game. Senior Dane Watts (6-8/225) leads the charge inside averaging 11.3 points and 6.4 boards a game.

Florida matches up well against Creighton. The Jays start a three-guard lineup and Marreese Speights has a considerable size advantage on Creighton center Kenny Lawson, Jr. (6-9/225). But Lawson is active on the boards, and he grabbed 11 against Drake in the MVC Tournament semifinal.

The Jays are deep off the bench with 10 players averaging 13 minutes or more. With their lack of size, they could look to push it against the Gators who are playing their second game in three days, but Florida is 21-4 this season when they score more than 70 points.

Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m. and tickets are available for $12.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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