NEW YORK (AP) -- Florida coach Billy Donovan is learning more
each game about his young Gators.
Taurean Green had 23 points and keyed a late second-half run in
Florida's 75-70 victory over No. 16 Syracuse on Friday night in the
championship game of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic on Friday
"They are young and eager just to be out there playing,"
Donovan said. "There's a lot of unselfishness with them."
Florida (4-0) trailed 62-60 with 6:43 left before going on a
12-0 run. Green, named MVP of the tournament, had eight points
during that span, including a 3-pointer with 1:52 left to cap the
spurt and give the Gators a 72-62 lead, their biggest of the game.
"Taurean Green made some great plays," Florida coach Billy
Green matched his career-high set in the semifinals on Thursday
night against Wake Forest.
"It's a great feeling winning," Green said. "We just wanted
to move the ball and get open shots."
This should have been a transition season for the Gators, having
lost David Lee, Anthony Robertson and Matt Walsh, who supplied 60
percent of the offense on last year's SEC Tournament championship
team to the NBA draft.
Instead, the Gators left New York unbeaten.
The defending champion Orange (3-1) were led by Demetrius
Nichols, who had a career-high 24 points. He hit five 3-pointers
and had five rebounds.
"He's been shooting the ball really well and he got his looks
tonight," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "It's not surprising
and it should help his confidence."
Florida opened the second half with a 13-3 run to take a 56-47
advantage and get Syracuse out of its 2-3 zone defense.
"Our frontcourt people did a great job," Donovan said. "Noah,
Holford and (Chris) Richard altered shots in the paint."
Syracuse answered with a 15-4 run of its own as Terrence Roberts
had eight points to give the Orange a 62-60 lead.
The run didn't worry Donovan.
"We have a short-term memory," he said.
Gerry McNamara continued to struggle from the field. He was
5-for-19, including going 3-for-11 on 3-pointers. He is just
7-for-32 from behind the arc this season. McNamara finished with 13
points and 10 assists.
"Gerry's doing a tremendous job of getting the ball to people.
He's just not making shots," Boeheim said.
Lee Humphreys added 13 points and Noah had 12 for the Gators.
Roberts had 12 points and seven rebounds for Syracuse.
Nichols had 18 points in the first half to give Syracuse a 44-43
lead. His previous career high for a game was 17 against Providence
No. 19 Wake Forest beat Texas Tech 78-73 in double-overtime in
the consolation game as Justin Gray had four of his 18 points in
the second extra period.