TALLAHASSEE, Fl - For the second time in four days, the University of Florida men's basketball played a game that came down to the final shot. But Friday night's game had a different outcome than Tuesday night's loss to West Virginia, as the Gators pulled out a last second 58-57 victory over in-state rival Florida State at the Leon County Civic Center in Tallahasse, Fla.
With the win, Florida ran its record to 5-2 on the young season, while handing the Seminoles their first loss of the season (3-1). It was the Gators' 15th consecutive win against a school from the state of Florida.
UF's largest lead of the game was only eight points (43-35), and that came with a little over 10 minutes left to play in the game. But FSU made a run and kept the margin within three points during the last four minutes of the ballgame.
Leading 56-52 with over two minutes to play, Seminole guard Tim Pickett hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to one, 56-55. Gator freshman Anthony Roberson (Saginaw, Mich.) answered by knocking down two free-throws to make it 58-55. Those two free throws would turn out to be the difference-makers, as the Seminoles would get two Andrew Wilson free throws to cut the Gator lead back down to one at 58-57. Florida State had one last chance, but Pickett's off-balance, three-point attempt clanked off the front of the rim and into the hands of sophomore David Lee (St. Louis, Mo.).
Florida was led by senior Matt Bonner's 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting (55-percent) from the field in a season-high 38 minutes. It was the third straight game that the senior from Concord, N.H. led the Gators in scoring. The only other Gator to reach double-figures in scoring was Roberson, who came off the bench to score 16 points. The scoring output marked the first time this season that the freshman scored in double-digits in a road game. Also coming up big for the Gators was senior Justin Hamilton (Sarasota, Fla.), who had only six points but got the offense going with six assists. Hamilton also led the team in rebounds with seven.
The first half was the same as the second with back and forth action, as the teams exchanged the lead eight times before the Gators took a 25-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Florida will be back in action Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Stephen
C. O'Connell Center, when the Gators host another in-state rival, the South
From UF Sports Info. Department