Gators Season Comes to an End

Freshman Kenny Boynton scored a career-high 27 points and led Florida back from a 13-point, second-half deficit, but he fouled out in the opening minute of the second overtime and the Gators had no answers after that as No. 7 seed BYU pulled away for a 99-92 double overtime win in first-round action of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Oklahoma City.

The No. 10 seed Gators (22-12), who had a 12-game NCAA Tournament winning streak snapped with the loss, had the ball for the last shot at the end of both regulation and the first overtime but came up empty, and the Cougars (30-5) made them pay, outscoring UF 18-11 in the final five minutes to become the first team in BYU history to win 30 games while also ending a seven-game losing streak in NCAA first-round games dating back to 1993.

"We just could not get the stop we needed in that second overtime," said UF assistant head coach Larry Shyatt in a postgame radio interview with WRUF. "I have to believe a little of that was fatigue."

As much as UF missed Boynton's offense, his defense was equally missed. He had done a terrific job on BYU's Jimmer Fredette, who made just one 3-pointer up to that point, but after Boynton fouled out, Fredette hit back-to-back 3-pointers that shot the Cougars to a 93-86 lead with 1:20 left to play. Fredette scored 12 points in the final overtime.

The Cougars also got a big left off the bench from reserve guard Michael Loyd, Jr., who scored 10 unanswered points to ignite a 14-2 BYU run late in the first half that turned a 28-21 Gator lead with seven minutes to play into a 35-30 Cougars' advantage with 2:40 left in the half. Boynton was able to hit three late free throws to cut the lead to 35-33 at the break.

The second half was back-and-forth early, but the Cougars went on a 12-1 run to open a 59-46 lead with 8:54 remaining, putting the Gators on the edge. But as they have done all year, they rallied, with Boynton scoring 14 straight points as part of a 17-7 UF run that got the Gators to within three, 66-63, with 4:35 to play.

A hoop by Vernon Macklin tied things at 68-all less than a minute later, and when Boynton and Chandler Parsons knocked down back-to-back treys sandwiched around a layup by BYU's Noah Hartsock, UF was looking good up 74-70 with 1:35 left in regulation. But the Cougars' Jackson Emery answered with a huge 3-pointer with 1:22 on the clock to cut the lead to one.

Macklin hit one of two free throws with 40.2 seconds left to make it 75-73, but Fredette got inside for a tying layup with 25.3 seconds left. The Gators ran the clock down for the last shot, but Parsons' turnaround from about 15 feet missed, sending the game into overtime.

"We were on the cusp of being blown out by one of the best teams in the country," Shyatt said. "It was really one of the most gutsy performances I've seen."

UF scored the first four points of the first OT to take a 79-75 lead and had two chances to go up by more but turned the ball over both times, two of their 21 turnovers in the game. After Loyd hit four straight free throws to tie things again, Parsons scored on an offensive rebound to make it 81-79, but Loyd answered with a tying layup with 54 seconds left.

Parsons missed a 3-pointer and BYU secured the rebound, but Boynton came up with a steal at midcourt with 26 seconds left to give UF the last possession again. UF again worked for the last shot, with Boynton rising for what looked like a long trey as the clock wound down but instead firing a pass to senior Dan Werner who was all alone under the basket. It appeared Werner had time to catch the ball and lay it in, but instead he simply slapped it at the basket and it bounced hard off the backboard, sending the game into another extra period.

Boynton was 8-of-16 from the field and 5-of-10 from 3-point range in his impressive performance before fouling out for the first time all season. Parsons, who played 46 of the game's 50 minutes, had 20 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the year and seventh of his career. Macklin finished with 16 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Erving Walker was the fourth Gator in double figures with 12 points, but he had seven turnovers to four assists and was 4-of-16 from the field including 3-of-13 from beyond the arc.

Fredette finished with a game-high 37 points to pace the Cougars, his seventh game of 33 or more points this season.

Quotes from head coach Billy Donovan and UF players will be available shortly from columnist Heath Cline.

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