National Basketball Association
Florida 70, Nevada 61
When: 6:50 PM ET, Thursday, March 21, 2019
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
# Tony Greene, # Joe Lindsay, # Kelly Pfeifer
Senior center Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points to help Florida produce a 70-61 victory over Nevada on Thursday in first-round West Region play of the NCAA Tournament at Des Moines, Iowa.
Senior guard Jalen Hudson added 15 points for the 10th-seeded Gators (20-15). Freshman forward Keyontae Johnson recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds, and senior guard KeVaughn Allen also scored 10 points.
Florida will face second-seeded Michigan on Saturday in the second round. The Wolverines downed 15th-seeded Montana 74-55 later Thursday.
Senior forward Cody Martin scored 23 points, and senior shooting guard Caleb Martin added 19 points for the seventh-seeded Wolf Pack (29-5). Nevada shot just 34.5 percent from the field, including 5 of 24 from 3-point range.
The Gators shot 45.3 percent from the field and were 5 of 18 from behind the arc.
Nevada cut an 18-point, second-half deficit to two before the Gators fought off the charge with a game-ending, 7-0 run.
Florida freshman guard Andrew Nembhard drove the lane for a layup with 1:38 remaining. After Caleb Martin missed a 3-pointer, the Gators worked the ball around and fed Dontay Bassett, who delivered a thunderous dunk to make it 67-61 with 47.1 seconds left.
Allen split two free throws with 33.5 seconds left, and Johnson added two with 6.7 seconds left to seal it.
"My heart is still racing and my brain is fried," Gators coach Mike White said in a postgame interview with TNT. "These guys continued to play with poise."
Florida led by nine at halftime and came out strong in the second half.
Allen scored the Gators' first seven points, including the first five of a 12-0 burst as Florida opened up a 51-33 advantage with 14:05 left.
The Wolf Pack went 7 1/2 minutes between field goals until Cody Martin converted a three-point play with 11:27 remaining. That was part of an 11-3 surge that pulled Nevada within 54-44 with 9:32 remaining.
The Wolf Pack later moved within 58-51 on Caleb Martin's steal and dunk with 6:58 to play. Cody Martin scored the next four as Nevada crept within three with 5:17 left.
Caleb Martin later made two free throws to pull Nevada within 63-61 with 2:02 to go.
Hudson scored 13 points and Allen had 10 on 5-of-5 shooting as the Gators led 37-28 at the break.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Kevarrius Hayes 16
Cody Martin 23
Andrew Nembhard 5
Jazz Johnson 1
Keyontae Johnson 10
Jordan Caroline 10
Kevarrius Hayes 6
||Free Throws Made
Caleb Martin 7
Keyontae Johnson 3
Caleb Martin 4
Kevarrius Hayes 3
Tre'Shawn Thurman 3
Team Stats Summary