RALEIGH, N.C. — Hardly anything would fall from long range for Florida, until junior forward Chandler Parsons tossed up a prayer from well past halfcourt.
His 75-footer swished through at the overtime buzzer, lifting the Gators past North Carolina State 62-61 Sunday.
"I'd be lying if I felt that it looked good going in, or I felt that I had it," Parsons said. "I was trying to make sure that I got it off in time."
Vernon Macklin had 14 points, Erving Walker 13 and Alex Tyus 11 for the Gators (11-3), who made 3 of 24 3-pointers and appeared headed for a loss after Farnold Degand's free throw with 2.6 seconds put N.C. State up 61-59.
But after Degand missed his second free throw, Parsons grabbed the rebound, took two dribbles and uncorked a shot from roughly three-quarters of the way downcourt. It swished, sending the Gators spilling onto the court to mob him.
"Nothing diagrammed, there was no play, there was nothing like that; a guy just took the ball and, you know, you talk about strange things happening," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Said N.C. State point guard Javier Gonzalez: "Who knows how many times he's going to make that in his career again? But he made it. We've got to live with it."
Tracy Smith had 21 points for the Wolfpack (10-4), which had its two-game winning streak snapped. It made 10 of 19 free throws and turned it over 14 times, many against Florida's effective full-court press.
"The only way we could even stay in the game with the way we shot the ball was what we did defensively in the second half," Donovan said.
Gonzalez forced overtime with a stickback then started the extra session with a 3 from the corner and a baseline drive that put the Wolfpack up 53-48.
After Florida cut it to 58-57, Gonzalez hit two free throws with 6.5 seconds left. Walker made it 60-59 with two free throws with 3.3 seconds left. He tried to miss the second off the rim but banked it in.
"From a coaching standpoint, sometimes we have a whole lot less control than what we think," Donovan said.