Florida struggles from the floor, holds off New Hamphire to stay unbeaten

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Jalen Hudson scored 26 points, including a dunk midway through the second half that put No. 8 Florida ahead for good during a 70-63 victory over plucky New Hampshire on Sunday night.

The Gators (3-0) had been averaging a nation-leading 112 points per game in their first two wins. But they shot just 32 percent, and New Hampshire (1-2) took advantage.

A desperation 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer lifted the Wildcats into a 32-32 tie, and they continued their upset bid after the break.

A fall-back 3 by John Ogwuche gave New Hampshire the lead with under 10 minutes left. Hudson came back with a dunk, and later scored nine straight points to keep Florida in front.

Tanner Leissner finished with 23 points for the Wildcats.

Transfer Egor Koulechov shot just 4 for 14 for Florida, but had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Gators extended their all-time record against the Wildcats to 4-0.

BIG PICTURE

New Hampshire: The Wildcats have lost their last two games, but the losses came against traditional powers Florida and Texas. The Wildcats have some less well-known competition coming up, which should provide the opportunity reboot before America East competition begins in January.

Florida: The Gators continue to raise expectations with each win. They'll face higher caliber competition at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon.

BACK IN BUSINESS

After starting Thursday's win over North Florida on the bench for missing an academic deadline, Gators center Kevarrius Hayes was back in the starting lineup. He finished with six points and six rebounds.

UP NEXT

New Hampshire heads home to play winless American University on Tuesday. The Wildcats will then head to Nashville for a pair of neutral-site games against Furman and Utah State.

The Gators will play Stanford across the country on Thanksgiving in the first round of the Phil Knight Invitational. They'll then play either Ohio State or Gonzaga on Friday and one more tournament game on Sunday before returning home and taking a week off.