NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Matt Walsh led and No. 7 Florida followed.
The freshman scored 22 points and was one of four Gators to nail three 3-pointers en route to an 83-73 victory over No. 2 Kansas in a fast-paced consolation game of the Preseason NIT.
Walsh hit the game's biggest shot after Kansas (2-2) had whittled a 19-point deficit down to two. He took a feeed from Justin Hamilton and drained a 3-pointer on the right wing for a 64-59 lead with 7:20 remaining.
"I just play the game," Walsh said. "These guys have confidence in me. That makes it easier for me."
Matt Bonner scored 22 points and nailed three 3-pointers and Brett Nelson and freshman Anthony Roberson also each connected three times from beyond the arc as Florida (4-1) shot 45 percent (14-of-31) from 3-point range. The Gators made nine 3-pointers in the second half.
"The 3-point line is a great equalizer and we had a stretch there where we had some pretty good looks," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "Matt (Bonner) missed like three in a row, all of a sudden he got going. Matt Walsh hit a big one, Brett Nelson made one. We had some guys shooting the ball."
Bonner's 3-pointer with 3:23 left established a 74-66 lead for Florida, which never trailed. Bonner grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Gators and used his shooting ability to exploit Kansas' big men on the perimeter.
"Once I got in the mind-set of doing that, I saw it could be done, it opened up a lot more things on offense," Bonner said.
Kansas turned in a dismal first half in which it managed just eight baskets and trailed, 38-26. It was the third straight half the Jayhawks failed to reach 30 points.
"I think we were shook a little bit with our confidence the other night (semifinal loss to North Carolina)," Kansas coach Roy Williams said. "That continued on tonight in the first half."
The Jayhawks got 3-pointers from Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Miles to halve their halftime deficit to open the second half. But Roberson nailed all three of his 3-pointers in a 17-4 spurt that gave the Gators their largest lead at 55-36.
Roberson was just 1-of-13 from the field in Florida's 69-65 semifinal loss to Stanford.
"We have great shooters," Walsh said. "We have six or seven guys who can hit threes. We could have had 20 threes."
Nick Collison came alive and helped fuel a comeback with 14 of his 16 points in the second half to go with 13 rebounds for Kansas. Collison's layup with 7 1/2 minutes left pulled the Jayhawks within 61-59, but they managed only four field goals thereafter.
Keith Langford collected 17 points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Wayne Simien added 16 and 10 as Kansas held a 50-39 edge on the glass. But Simien, Miles and Hinrich all failed to contain Florida's dribble penetration, which resulted in open looks at 3-pointers.
"Once one got penetration, then one guy has to close out and you have to close out another guy," Langford said. "We have to obviously get better at it."
The Jayhawaks have split their first four games of the season for the first time since 1987-88 season.