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Towson guard Brian Fobbs (23) and forward Dennis Tunstall (11) battle for a rebound with Florida forward Omar Payne (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)
Towson guard Brian Fobbs (23) and forward Dennis Tunstall (11) battle for a rebound with Florida forward Omar Payne (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey) (Matt Stamey / AP)

Freshman Scottie Lewis scored 15 points in his first start, and No. 15 Florida escaped with a 66-60 victory over Towson on Thursday night in Gainesville, Florida.

Graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. had 13 points and 13 rebounds in his third game with his new team as Florida (2-1) bounced back from a dispiriting home loss to Florida State. Andrew Nembhard had 11 points and nine assists for the Gators.

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Allen Bertrand scored 14 points for the Tigers (2-2), and his 3-pointer with 5:46 remaining gave Towson its last lead at 57-55. But the Tigers struggled from there, going 1 for 6 from the field as Florida ended the game with a 6-0 run.

The Gators closed it out thanks to improved transition defense and a few big shots, including a jumper by Blackshear with 1:06 left that gave Florida the lead for good at 62-60.

Towson jumped to an early 19-13 lead as Florida once again started hesitantly on the offensive end.

Lewis, ranked ESPN’s No. 10 overall prospect in the 2019 class, went 5-for-8 from the field, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. The Gators shot 7 of 22 (31.8%) from beyond the arc, an improvement for a team that had made 7 of 37 3-point attempts in its first two games.

The Tigers gave the Gators all they can handle yet couldn’t come away with a coveted victory over a ranked opponent. They’ll have another chance in a week, when they play No. 21 Xavier.

WOMEN

Nebraska 78, Morgan State 55: The host Cornhuskers (3-0) used a 26-7 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Bears (2-2). Jihayah Chavis scored 14 points and Ashia McCalla had 13 points for Morgan State. The Bears travel to Nebraska-Omaha Sunday at 2 p.m.

Widener 63, Salisbury 57: The host Pride (3-0) took the lead for good in the closing 4:42 left in the game and hung on to beat the Sea Gulls (1-2). Erin Phelan made a layup for a 51-50 lead and Widener never trailed again. Lauren Fortescue had a game-high 20 points for Salisbury.

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