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Werner, Hodge lead Florida past Bradley

Nov 17, 2008 - 4:22 AM GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- A deeper 3-point line is not forcing the Florida Gators to shy away from heaving it up from behind the arc with success early on this season.

Dan Werner and Walter Hodge led a potent 3-point attack with 17 points apiece as 19th-ranked Florida beat Bradley, 81-58, on Sunday in the CBE Classic.

Nick Calathes added 13 points and six rebounds for the Gators. They will face Syracuse in a semifinal matchup in Kansas City on November 24.

Hodge knocked down five of his nine attempts from behind the arc and Werner sank another four 3-pointers as Florida shot 45 percent (14-of-31) from deep.

"We would have liked to do a little bit more in around the basket, but with the way I think Bradley played defensively, it really opened up for us to shoot the ball," Florida coach Billy Donovan told the Gainesville Sun. "We won the game today because of the 3-point line."

The Gators (2-0) knocked down seven from behind the arc in Friday's win over Toledo and used the 3-point shot to thwart a second half rally from the Braves.

Bradley (1-1) entered the half trailing, 42-25, but Chris Roberts knocked down consecutive threes as the Braves opened the second half with a 10-1 run to cut the deficit to eight.

The Gators' lead was nine with just under 11 minutes to go when the 3-point barrage began.

"We had some miscues," Bradley coach Jim Les told the newspaper. "Some were forced, some were not forced. As good teams do, they capitalized on all of those and got hot."

Erving Walker knocked down a pair of threes while Werner and Calathes each sank shots from behind the arc as part of a 16-4 run to put the game away.

"We're not going to be a team that dumps it into the post, but I think there are still some things we can do with dribble penetration and spacing," Donovan told the newspaper. "We are doing a good job getting to the free-throw line, which is somewhat encouraging."

Florida held a 36-26 rebounding edge, including 16-6 on the offensive glass.

Dodie Dunson had 15 points and Roberts added 13 for Bradley.

    --- --- -----
    BRADLEY 25 33 58
    FLORIDA (19) 42 39 81 FINAL

    Nov 16 4:16 PM


    Nov 16 3:13 PM