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South Alabama upsets No. 18 Florida 67-66

GAINESVILLE — Florida followed an impressive November with a disastrous December.

Tim Williams scored 21, DeAndre Hersey had a putback with 1.8 seconds remaining, and South Alabama stunned the No. 18 Gators 67-66 on Tuesday night.

Florida (8-3) lost its third straight after an 8-0 start that included wins against FSU, Michigan State and Rutgers.

"It's never ever smooth sailing," UF coach Billy Donovan said. "Our first eight games, it was great, and now all of a sudden, there's three losses. To me, it's the resiliency, it's your ability to fight back, it's your ability to battle. … I think our guys are going to have to dig deep down inside and try to battle to get through."

The Gators have a week to think about this one before playing host to American on Monday.

"We came out hungry, and I guess the rankings got to our heads," guard Kenny Boynton said. "We played with a chip on our shoulder, and then somehow we got complacent. We've got to play with a chip on our shoulder."

The Gators' real undoing came at the 3-point line. They finished 3-of-22 from behind the arc.

Florida rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second half and had the lead and the ball with less than a minute to play. But Chandler Parsons, who finished 1-of-8 from the field, misfired on a wild runner in the lane with 18 seconds remaining.

The Jaguars (9-4) called timeout with 12.7 seconds left and found a play they thought would work. It did, but not quite by design. Williams drove the lane, but his contested shot clanged off the rim. The Gators failed to block out Hersey, who grabbed the rebound and put it back up for the winner. It was South Alabama's 16th offensive rebound.

Florida had one final chance, but Erving Walker's heave from halfcourt hit the back of the rim.

"I told our team to allow us to give ourselves a heck of a Christmas present, and we did that," Jaguars coach Ronnie Arrow said.

Alex Tyus led Florida with 16 points and seven rebounds.

S. Alabama 67

No. 18 UF 66

South Alabama upsets No. 18 Florida 67-66 12/22/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 22, 2009 11:35pm]

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