NoleDigest Top Story of 2008 #9

The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Florida Gators at home, 57-55. Florida State has defeated Florida three straight times for the first time since 1995-97 and also won four out of the last five meetings.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida State shot 31.4 percent and its leading scorer had one field goal. Somehow the Seminoles found a way to beat intrastate rival Florida for the third straight year Sunday.

Ryan Reid scored four of his 13 points in the final 1:20 to lead the Seminoles to the 57-55 victory over the Gators (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 23 AP).

Florida's Dan Werner missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer and the Seminoles, who were coming off their first loss of the season, had a chance to celebrate at home. Jordan DeMercy had a career-high 12 points and 7-foot-1 Solomon Alabi added 11 for the Seminoles.

"They're a very big team," said Nick Calathes, who led the Gators with 16 points. "They're probably the biggest we'll play as a team."

Werner added 10 points for Florida, which shot 39.2 percent.

"They made us earn every basket that we got," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "That was a great game for us coming off a loss."

Florida coach Billy Donovan thought it was a good game for his club as well.

"Playing a good team on the road, we didn't shoot the ball well, but we gave ourselves a chance," Donovan said.

The Gators, who trailed for much of the game, went on a 19-4 run midway through the second half to open a 49-43 lead. Alex Tyus' basket midway through the second half completed a 10-0 spurt that gave Florida its first lead, 40-39, since the opening minutes. Then it was back and forth Florida State got the lead for good at 52-51 on Reid's two free throws with 1:20 left.

"When the opportunity came, I just took it," said Reid, whose jumper gave Florida State a 54-51 lead with 38 seconds left. "Just like practice."

Florida State shot 27.6 percent in the first half but still led 26-25 at halftime.

The Seminoles built a 22-13 lead with 6:10 left in the half on a 3-pointer by Luke Loucks.


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