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COLLEGE BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Upset Saturday as UGA downs UF; Okla. St. tops No. 1 Kansas; Vols top No. 2 Wildcats

Photo by David Manning

Photo by David Manning

ATHENS -- Considering how Florida usually dominates Georgia, Chandler Parsons took no satisfaction in narrowly losing to the Bulldogs.

"We're confident we're going to win every game we play," Parsons said. "We were down by 15 and came back, so I feel like we can win any game. Georgia played well and had really strong defense down low."

Trey Thompkins scored 20 points, and Albert Jackson ended Florida's comeback attempt by knocking a last-second pass out of bounds to help Georgia beat the Gators 78-76 on Saturday.

Parsons finished with 29 points for Florida, which had won three straight overall and had taken 12 of its last 13 meetings with the Bulldogs.

"Give Georgia a lot of credit," Gators coach Billy Donovan said. "They played a great game. If it wasn't for two missed free throws the other night, I think they would've won at Vanderbilt. Their season has been a lot like that."

Georgia (13-14, 5-9 Southeastern Conference) improved to 12-3 at home this season with a fourth straight victory at Stegeman Coliseum, but the Bulldogs nearly blew a 15-point lead Dustin Ware gave them on a 3-pointer with 12:55 remaining.

Kenny Boynton, who scored 22 points, pulled Florida (20-9, 9-5) within two points three times in the final 5:42, but his fast break layup at the 1:39 mark ended the scoring.

After Georgia's shot-clock violation gave Florida the game's final possession with 13.3 seconds left, Jackson jumped in front of Dan Werner near the right sideline to block a pass intended for Vernon Macklin in the lane.

The ball bounced off Jackson's arms and into the crowd behind Werner. Florida fared no better with one-tenth of a second remaining when Werner unsuccessfully launched a 3-point attempt that sailed over the rim.

Florida was coming off its first win over Tennessee in three years, a 13-point victory Tuesday that lifted the Gators' hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament since the school won consecutive national titles in 2006-07.

But Florida, which never led after Boynton's 3-pointer made it 17-15 midway through the first half, ends the regular season next week against No. 16 Vanderbilt at home and No. 2 Kentucky on the road.

"This is a tough road loss to come within two points and lose," Boynton said. "We just have to work hard at getting back some momentum."

Georgia was coming off an overtime loss at Vanderbilt on Thursday, but had 13 points from Jeremy Price, 12 from Travis Leslie and 10 from Ware to hold off the Gators.

"I told the team that it's important to be tough enough to come back and pick yourself up when you're down," first-year Bulldogs coach Mark Fox said. "As hard as we competed at Vanderbilt, we didn't get the job done, and it is our responsibility to play a little bit better."

Thompkins' last basket came with 3:30 remaining following a timeout. Only 3 seconds were left on the shot clock when Thompkins, the SEC's second-leading scorer, caught the inbound pass and turned to hit a 16-footer from the left side that gave the Bulldogs a 76-71 lead.

Price's basket with 2:45 left put Georgia ahead 78-74. A 6-foot-8, 264-pound reserve junior forward, Price teamed with Jackson (6-11, 265) to occasionally spell starting center Chris Barnes and take up space in the lane to help the Bulldogs disrupt Florida's customary passing lanes through the paint.

With Price finishing 6-for-6 from the field with five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes, Georgia got another boost from its bench as guards Ebuka Anyaorah and Demario Mayfield combined for 14 points.

"The starters get exhausted, and they really get beat up here at the end of the season," Anyaorah said. "Coach just relied on us and told us that we needed to step defensively, offensively and just be smarter when we go in there."

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JACKETS JACK UP EAGLES:

ATLANTA -- Both coaches agreed that Iman Shumpert was the difference in Georgia Tech's win.

Shumpert scored 24 points, including nine straight late in the second half, and Derrick Favors added 14 points to lead Georgia Tech to a 73-68 victory over Boston College on Saturday.

Tech (19-9, 7-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), improved to 14-1 at home. The Yellow Jackets had lost three of four.

Boston College (14-14, 5-9) was led by Joe Trapani with 26 points. Reggie Jackson added 13 points and Corey Raji had 12 for the Eagles, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

"Late in the game I thought Iman made great decisions getting into the high paint and shooting over his defender," said Tech coach Paul Hewitt. "He made two shots that I thought really decided the game."

With Tech leading 56-45 with 8:49 left, Shumpert hit four straight shots, including a 3-pointer, and the two that Hewitt referred to. They gave the Yellow Jackets a 65-53 lead with 4:06 remaining.

"When he's good, he's really good," said Hewitt, adding the difference in Shumpert, a sophomore guard averaging 9.2 points a game, is being aggressive.

"Yes. It's that simple. And decision making. I told him that the guy I saw in the last 10 minutes today is not allowed to leave until the season is over. Iman is the X-factor," said Hewitt.

"The real difference was Shumpert. He made some shots today that I don't know if he's been shooting that well this season," said Boston College coach Al Skinner.

The Yellow Jackets biggest lead of the second half was 15 at 54-39 with 11:24 left and led 73-61 with 22 second left before the Eagles scored the last seven points.

Shumpert hit a 3-point basket on Tech's first possession and the Yellow Jackets went on to a 7-0 lead and never trailed.

Boston College had 21 turnovers and 10 shots blocked.

"No question about it. We mishandled the basketball, and it led to run-outs (easy baskets) for them. That's really what the problem is. It's one thing to turn it over, but it's another thing to turn it over and lead to run-outs for them. It gave them easy opportunities," said Skinner.

Tech led 37-30 at halftime. The Yellow Jackets had their biggest lead of the half at 30-16 with 6:50 left before intermission on a basket by Derrick Favors. Maurice Miller had five points in the run.

Boston College, however, went on a 14-3 run to get within three points, 33-30, on a 3-point basket by Joe Trapani with 2:22 left in the half. Tech's Zach Peacock scored at the 1:11 mark and Shumpert hit a layup at the buzzer for the 37-30 lead.

Tech was outrebounded 20-11 in the first 20 minutes but made up for it by hitting 14 of 27 shots (52 percent), including 4 of 8 3's. The Eagles were only 12 of 30 (40 percent) and had 11 turnovers and six shots blocked.

Both teams have two games remaining before the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C. begins on March 11.