Gators Fall To George Washington In NIT Semis

Florida defenders Dorian Finney-Smith (10) and Kevarrius Hayes (13) double team Vanderbilt's Damian Jones (30) as he goes up for a shot in the first half. (Greenberry Taylor/WUFT News)
Florida defenders Dorian Finney-Smith (10) and Kevarrius Hayes (13) double-team Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones as he goes up for a shot in the teams’ Jan. 26 matchup. The Gators lost to George Washington in the NIT semifinals Wednesday. (File/WUFT News)

WASHINGTON — Tyler Cavanaugh scored 23, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and Kevin Larsen added 19 points with a season-high 13 rebounds to help George Washington beat Florida 82-77 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Patricio Garino added 13 points and rebounds for fourth-seeded George Washington. Cavanaugh made 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

A jumper by Florida’s Chris Chiozza tied it at 73 with 2:25 left. Cavanaugh made 1 of 2 free throws about a minute later to put the Colonials up one and, after Dorian Finney-Smith missed a 3 on the other end, Cavanaugh knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 54 seconds left to make it 77-73.

Kasey Hill made 1 of 2 foul shots to pull the No. 2 seed Gators (21-14) within four, but Cavanaugh hit 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the final 16 seconds to seal it.

George Washington (26-10) will face San Diego State (28-9) in the semifinals Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

KeVaughn Allen led Florida with 22 points. Kevarrius Hayes scored 14.

The Gators made just 7 of 24 (29.2 percent) from 3-point range.

Cavanaugh has scored at least 20 in each of George Washington’s three NIT games while hitting 8-of-13 3-pointers.

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