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39 good minutes ruined

Mike Rosario, taking the ball upcourt Saturday, has 16 points for Florida, which leads most of the way until a late collapse.

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Mike Rosario, taking the ball upcourt Saturday, has 16 points for Florida, which leads most of the way until a late collapse.

TUCSON, Ariz. — Florida had a signature road win in its grasp, leading by six with a minute left.

Instead, the Gators left the desert with a disheartening loss.

Mark Lyons scored on a contested layup with 7.1 seconds left and No. 5 Florida blew a six-point lead in the final 56 seconds to lose 65-64 to eighth-ranked Arizona late Saturday night.

"I think we outplayed them most of the game, but that doesn't matter," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "It's a 40-minute game and they outplayed us at the end, when it mattered most."

The Wildcats (8-0) had been struggling against Florida's mix of zone and man defenses to fall behind by 11 in the second half. They still appeared to be in trouble heading into the final minute, trailing 64-58.

That changed in a hurry.

Arizona cut the lead to four by hitting two free throws, and the Wildcats forced a turnover on an inbounds play, setting up Solomon Hill's layup. The Wildcats used their press to create another turnover and Grant Jerrett hit one free throw to make it 64-63.

Arizona fouled Kenny Boynton with 21 seconds left, but the 90 percent free-throw shooter missed a 1-and-1 and Arizona grabbed the rebound.

Scrambling to get a final play set up, Lyons saw that Patric Young, Florida's 6-foot-9 center, was guarding him and put his head down toward the basket. Leaning away from the defense and flipping the ball with his right hand, Lyons sent the ball high off the glass and in.

Florida (7-1) botched its final possession, fumbling the ball away before taking a wild 3-pointer.

The Gators hit 12 of 19 shots in the second half, including 6 of 9 3-pointers, yet couldn't score over the game's final 2:35.

"We couldn't quite handle the pressure, and I think that's what cost us the game," Young said.

GOING FOR 900: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim gets his first shot at his 900th victory tonight at home against Detroit. Boeheim would join Mike Krzyzewski (936) and Bob Knight (902) as the only men's coaches in Division I history to win that many. The game is at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

Sunday's games

NO. 10 ILL. 66, E. KENTUCKY 53: Brandon Paul scored 17 for the host Illini, who needed a late 12-2 run to gain control and help John Groce become the second coach in school history to win his first 12 games.

NO. 24 OKLA. ST. 91, CENTRAL ARK. 63: Le'Bryan Nash scored 19 and Markel Brown had 14 points and eight rebounds for the host Cowboys (8-1), who fell behind by 11 within eight minutes but responded with 13 straight points to take the lead for good.

TAMPA 69, P.R.-BAYAMON 67: Da'Markco Foster had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the visiting Spartans (8-0), who led all game but had to hold off a late rally.


NEBRASKA 62, USF 52: The host Bulls (8-1) fell a win shy of their best start ever thanks to a cold start to the second half. With the score tied at 36, the Cornhuskers went on a 12-0 run, holding USF without a basket for nearly seven minutes. "We didn't stick to what coach was saying —box out, rebounding, talking on defense. I think we shied away from what we know how to do," said Andrell Smith, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

UF 74, Lasalle 50: Jennifer George had 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting and added 11 rebounds to help the Gators (8-3) to their first road win of the season.

RUTGERS 42, NO. 21 MIAMI 34: Monique Oliver scored 13 for the host Scarlet Knights, who held the Hurricanes (7-2) to a season-worst 19.1 percent shooting (9-of-47) from the field.

NO. 6 GEORGIA 93, LIPSCOMB 42: Jasmine James and Tiaria Griffin scored 18 each to lead the host Bulldogs (11-0).

NO. 11 PENN ST. 60, SOUTH DAKOTA ST. 50: Alex Bentley had five assists for the host Lions (9-2) to give her 503 for her career, making her the sixth Penn State player to top 500.

VANDY 76, NO. 12 OKLAHOMA 63: Christina Foggie scored 17, leading four players in double figures, as the visiting Commodores upset the Sooners (8-2).

NO. 13 TENNESSEE 94, NO. 18 TEXAS 75: Meighan Simmons had 18 points to lead six players in double figures for the visiting Vols (7-1), who shot 46.8 percent from the floor and held the Longhorns (6-2) to 34.3 percent.

NO. 14 UCLA 53, ST. JOHN'S 52: Jasmine Dixon's layup with 1.2 seconds left lifted the Bruins (7-1) to the championship of the St. John's Holiday Classic in New York.

NO. 15 PURDUE 77, OAKLAND (MICH.) 46: Drey Mingo scored 19 for the visiting Boilermakers (10-1), who shot 56 percent from the field and won their fifth straight.

NO. 16 OKLA. ST. 83, VERMONT 30: Tiffany Bias scored 18, leading five players in double figures for the host Cowgirls, 8-0 for the third straight season.

NO. 19 UNC 75, COASTAL CAROLINA 49: Antoinette Bannister came off the bench to score 13 for the visiting Tar Heels (10-1), who found some offense after Wednesday's 49-21 victory over North Carolina Central.

NO. 22 KANSAS 72, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 60: Angel Goodrich scored 19 and Tania Jackson had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the host Jayhawks (9-1).

NO. 25 W. VA. 90, YOUNGSTOWN ST. 57: Taylor Palmer scored 15 to lead five players in double figures for the host Mountaineers (7-2), who made 38 of 59 shots from the field (64.4 percent).

39 good minutes ruined 12/16/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 16, 2012 9:55pm]
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