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Clayton scores 28 and Florida gradually distances itself from Pitt for 86-71 win

Icon Sportswire / Getty

NEW YORK (AP) — Walter Clayton Jr. scored 28 points, Tyrese Samuel recorded a double-double and Florida pulled away after intermission to beat Pitt 86-71 on Wednesday night in an NIT Season Tip-Off.

Clayton made 11 of 17 shot attempts, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range. Samuel scored 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds, distributed three assists, blocked three shots and had three steals.

Florida (4-1) reserves Alex Condon scored 11 points and Zyon Pullin scored 10. Pullin also distributed eight assists and recorded just a single turnover.

The Gators led 39-34 at halftime before Pitt (4-1) took a 42-41 lead on Guillermo Diaz Graham's 3 -pointer 3 minutes into the second half. Clayton responded with a 3 less than 30 seconds later.

Samuel's layup with 10 minutes left put Florida up 58-47 and the Gators led by double digits the rest of the way.

Ishmael Leggett scored 19 points for Pitt, Blake Hinson added 16 and Zack Austin scored 10 and grabbed nine rebounds.

Both teams play again in New York on Friday. Pitt faces Oregon State and Florida tries to tackle No. 13 Baylor.

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