Werner, Florida have little trouble with ToledoNov 15, 2008 - 5:48 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- With Florida still a young team, Dan Werner provided a veteran presence in its season opener.
Werner scored 19 points as the 19th-ranked Gators captured an 80-58 victory over Toledo in the opening round of the CBE Classic on Friday.
Sophomore point guard Nick Calathes had 16 points and seven assists for the Gators (1-0), who will face Bradley in the preseason tournament on Sunday.
Still rebuilding from the major exodus after it captured its second consecutive national champion in 2007, Florida has a few seasoned veterans, especially after center Marreese Speights decided to skip his final two years to enter the NBA this past offseason.
One of those players is junior forward Werner, who stepped up in the opener.
"He did a great job for us," Florida coach Billy Donovan told the St. Petersburg Times. "He was our catalyst."
After Florida used a 14-5 run over the final 4 1/2 minutes of the first half to create some separation at 39-27 lead, Werner made sure that Toledo did not get a chance to cut that deficit at the start of the second.
The 6-7 Werner had nine points in the opening six minutes after intermission, helping the Gators extend their advantage to 25 points.
The Rockets (0-1) would get no closer than 15 points thereafter.
Overall, Werner shot 8-of-14 from the field en route to finishing a point shy of his career-high from January 15 against Georgia Southern.
Alex Tyus scored 11 points and Walter Hodge added 10 for Florida, which shot 53 percent (27-of-51).
Despite the strong finish, the Gators were not exactly on the mark at the start, going 3-of-11 on 3-pointers in the first half.
"I thought our guys came out and played really hard," Donovan told the Times. "I definitely thought there were some first-game jitters, and a lot of times that shows up in the way you shoot the ball."
Jonathan Amos scored 22 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out five assists for Toledo.
However, the senior guard also committed seven of his team's 25 turnovers, as the Rockets struggled with the Gators' nearly constant full-court press. Florida turned those miscues into 29 points.
"We pressed some last year, but I think we're in pretty good shape as a team, and I think that's what we're going to do this year, start off with the hard press," Gators forward Chandler Parsons told the paper. "And if it's effective, we'll be doing it 40 minutes in the game. It really helped us offensively tonight."
Parsons, one of three sophomores in the starting lineup, had eight points and four rebounds.
- CBE CLASSIC
NCAA BB CBE CLASSIC
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
TOLEDO 27 31 58
FLORIDA (19) 39 41 80 FINAL
Nov 14 8:12 PM
- CBE CLASSIC
NCAA BB TOLEDO 27
(19) FLORIDA 39 HALFTIME
Nov 14 7:03 PM
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