Florida reaches second round of NIT with big win

No. 23 Florida dominated Troy 84-45 in a first-round matchup of the Super Regional of the NIT on Tuesday night in Orlando, with senior point guard Chris Chiozza notching a game-high 17 points to go along with six assists.

The Wildcats scored the first nine points of the game to push their lead out to 10-0 and were up 10 at the end of the first quarter, but the Gators slowly pulled away after the break.

Sophomore guard Jalen Hudson, whose 23-point performance helped the Gators claim an 81-73 win over Minnesota on Friday, notched 15 points and four assists.

Freshman center Noah Locke and senior point guard Austin Wiley both scored 15 points as the Gators, who have won 20 games for the first time since 2008, advance to play the winner of the West Virginia/Drexel game.

A crowd of 5,723 attended the first-round contest, which was highlighted by a few close calls, including a 19-footer by Troy in the final minute that almost went in, and a superb, spinning left-handed layup by sophomore guard Nicholas Gabler with 3.2 seconds remaining that only grazed the rim before dropping through the hoop to close out the contest.

On Friday, No. 3 seed Arizona beat Auburn by a slightly larger margin as Pac-12 Player of the Year Allonzo Trier (24 points) and Dusan Ristic (13 points, 13 rebounds) led the Wildcats to a 92-67 win in a first-round game of the PAC-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

Tucker Diggins and Gary Payton II led third-seeded South Dakota State with 18 points apiece as the Jackrabbits edged Mississippi Valley State by a final score of 66-64 in the first round of the NIT at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

The Jackrabbits (27-8) will now face fourth-seeded Northern Iowa in a second-round game on Thursday at Sprint Center.

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