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UF blows 13-point lead to Miami for 12th loss in a row

The nightmares will continue for the Florida Gators _ and so will the losing streak. The Gators blew a 13-point lead in the final six minutes Monday night and dropped their 12th straight game _ 62-59 to Miami. Florida has blown five leads in the final six minutes during the skid.

The Gators were ahead 57-44 with 5:47 to play, but went scoreless from the field while Miami erased the deficit. The Hurricanes (10-13) outscored Florida 18-2 down the stretch for their first win over the Gators (6-17) since the 1964-65 season.

"Never in my wildest dream did I think that the game could end like this. We roamed around out there for 35 minutes like we were lost and then came up with something special at the end," said Miami coach Bill Foster. "We just figured what the heck? Why not foul them and take our chances? It worked for some other teams, maybe it could work for us and it did.

"That was the craziest last six minutes I've ever seen."

Florida's inability to hit free throws was the key. The Gators hit just 6 of 17 free throws and missed the front end of three one-and-one situations in the final 3:16. Only guard Renaldo Garcia was able to score in the closing minutes.

Garcia ended a 10-0 Miami run by hitting two free throws with 1:52 left in the game. However, the Gators never scored again.

Miami guard Thomas Hocker drove for a basket and then hit two free throws after Travis Schintzius fouled him. Hocker's free throws cut the lead to 59-58 with 1:14 left.

Garcia tried a 25-foot jumper on Florida's next possession and Miami guard Jake Morton came up with the long rebound. Miami forward Doug Elliott was fouled while attempting a layup. Elliott, a 38 percent free-throw shooter, hit both free throws with 12 seconds left.

"It was a tough loss, but Miami did an excellent job in the final six or seven minutes," said Florida coach Don DeVoe. "They just executed well. They had a 38 percent shooter on the free throw line in a pressure situation and he hits both of them. You have to give them credit. They came up with the plays in the end."

The Gators had a chance to go ahead, but Morton stole a pass from Dwayne Davis with four seconds left and hit two free throws for a 62-59 lead. Florida guard Brian Hogan tried a desperation three-point shot, but stepped out of bounds at the buzzer.

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