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Gators rally by 'Cats

Tonya Washington scored a game-high 26 points to lead No. 20 Florida to a 77-63 victory over Kentucky on Sunday.

Kentucky led 11-6 before Washington came off the bench to score 13 first-half points to give the Gators (12-4, 2-0 SEC) a 42-31 halftime lead.

Washington, who holds the national high school scoring record with 4,389 points at Paxton (Fla.) High, hit 11 of 22 shots, and the rest of the team was 19-for-47.

Florida outrebounded Kentucky, forced 22 turnovers and held the Wildcats to 39 percent shooting. The Gators also held Kentucky's leading scorer, Jaye Barnes, to two points.

The Wildcats never led in the second half but pulled within 51-43 with 12:45 left.

Tamara Stocks had 14 points for Florida, Brandi McCain 12 and Talatha Bingham 10. McCain also added a game-high nine assists.

Laura Meadows led Kentucky with 14 points.

Southern Miss sinks

late jumper, USF

TAMPA _ Angela Atterberry's jumper under pressure just inside the free-throw line with :09 left gave Southern Mississippi a 63-61 victory over South Florida at the Sun Dome.

The Bulls had a chance to tie but Charmain Leslie's shot from the key fell short as time expired. The play was not exactly what USF coach Jerry Ann Winters wanted. "The play was for Dione Smith to get the ball downcourt, throw it into Charmain quickly and let her go one-on-one to the basket," Winters said. "Her defensive player backed off her a step or two and I don't know if that's what confused her or caused her to hesitate.

"She won a game for us against Chattanooga with a move like the one we expected her to make today. She usually can finish a shot like that."

Leslie, a junior college transfer and second-leading scorer at 15.3 per game, scored all nine points in the first half.

"The last play of the game was not the one that killed us," Winters said. "It was the one at the other end when we did not get the defensive stop and allowed them to pull up into the lane and get the jump shot."

The Bulls also were hurt by poor shooting (37.5 percent), poor rebounding (43-33) and poor bench production (outscored 23-4). USF hit just 10 of 30 shots in the second half.

"Probably 10 of those 20 misses were point-blank layups or little chip shots from the block," Winters said. "You've got to get the ball in the hole. You can't win very many games shooting 33 percent."

USF, trying to improve to 3-0 in Conference USA play for the first time, fell behind 21-11 with 8:46 left in the first half. The Bulls used a 19-3 run to build a 30-24 lead at the 2:27 mark.

The Bulls (8-5) led by six on four occasions in the second half, the last when Tanya Gary hit a jumper for a 46-40 advantage with 12:56 remaining.

Sonya Swick led USF with a game-high 21 points. Gary had 16 and Shannon Layne 11.