TAMPA, Fla. - Freshman Nick Calathes scored 21 points to lead the two-time defending national champion Florida Gators to an 86-61 victory over the University of Vermont on Friday night at the St. Pete Times Forum. Junior Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn.) paced the Catamounts, who fall to 2-5 on the season, with a game-high 23 points.
Four Gators reached double figures, while they shot 59.6 percent from the floor for the contest and held a 41-23 edge on the boards as they improve to 7-1 on the season. Sophomore Marqus Blakely (Metuchen, N.J.) added 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocks for the Catamounts.
Vermont scored the opening bucket of the game when Blakely had a lay-up 31 seconds in. Florida would tie the score at 2-2 before sophomore Nick Vier (Franklin Lakes, N.J.) connected on one-of- two from the line, giving the Cats their final lead of the game at 3-2. Florida answered with an 8-2 spark over the next 2:41 to go up 10-5.
The Cats would get it back to one at 10-9 on back-to- back jumpers by Trimboli and were within two at 15 -13 with 12:08 to go in the half. Florida used an 8-0 run to push its lead to 23-13 with 10:26 remaining, as the Catamounts would cut the deficit under 10 only one more time in the first stanza.
A lay-up by freshman Joey Accaoui (Lincoln, R.I.) with 2:34 left made it 42-31, but the Gators closed out the frame with a 10-1 spurt that made it 52-32 going into intermission.
Vermont shot the ball well in the first half, hitting on 53.8 percent, but Florida connected on 61.5 percent from the floor, hit six three's and was 14-for-18 from the line.
The second half was much of the same as Florida would lead by no less than 20 and go up by as many as 33 at one point.
Trimboli finished 8-for-17 from the floor as he notched a season-high 23, 17 of which came in the second half. In his first start of the season Vier had five points, three boards and a team-high four assists in the contest.
Calathes was joined in double figures by Marreese Speights (15), Jai Lucas (15) and Chandler Parsons (10).
- UVM Media Relations