GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Walter Clayton Jr. scored 26 points and Florida used a 20-0 run in the second half to pull away for a 77-57 victory over Merrimack on Tuesday night.

Clayton and Zyon Pullin scored eight points each in the run and the Gators (5-3) turned a three-point deficit into a 54-37 lead with 9:43 left to play. Samba Diallo’s layup gave Merrimack a 37-34 lead at the 17:20 mark. The Warriors (4-6) didn’t score again until Jordan Derkack’s layup ended the drought 7:37 later.

Clayton made 10 of 15 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range for Florida. Freshman reserve Alex Condon had 12 points and a season-best 16 rebounds for his first double-double. Tyrese Samuel had 11 points, while Diallo scored 10 off the bench, adding four boards and three assists. Freshman Thomas Haugh had 11 rebounds to go with seven points.

Gators center Micah Handlogten, a 7-foot-1 sophomore transfer from Marshall, returned from an ankle injury after missing two weeks. Handlogten, who started the first five games, grabbed two rebounds in four minutes off the bench.

Diallo and Derkack led Merrimack with 14 points apiece in the first meeting between the two schools. Derkack added nine rebounds and three of the Warriors' six assists. Diallo had six rebounds and three steals. Freshman Adam Clark scored 11.

Diallo had nine points and Devon Savage scored all eight of his points to help Merrimack take a 31-30 lead into halftime. Condon scored nine to keep Florida close.

Florida will play its next three games at neutral sites, starting with a matchup against Richmond on Sunday at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Florida.


Get poll alerts and updates on AP Top 25 basketball throughout the season. Sign up here


AP college basketball: and

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.