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Gators sneak past 'Noles

By ALEX ABRAMS
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 30, 2001

TALLAHASSEE -- Point guard Brandi McCain scored five in the final two minutes of overtime Thursday to lead No. 19 Florida to a 78-74 win over Florida State.

Trailing by one with 1:39 remaining, McCain converted two jumpers to give the Gators a 77-74 lead.

After FSU guard Shinikki Whiting missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it, McCain sealed the win with a free throw with two seconds left.

"This was a big basketball game, and I'm completely confident in (McCain) shooting the ball," Florida coach Carol Ross said. "I'm glad she wanted to shoot the ball. When Brandi has got it in her hand, she knows she's got the green light, she knows she has my full confidence."

The win ended the Gators' losing streak at two and extended to 14 their winning streak over the Seminoles. The Gators host Creighton on Saturday.

The senior McCain was 7-for-19 for 19 points. Center Vanessa Hayden added 19 points and 15 rebounds, and guard Tishona Gregory scored 14.

FSU had several opportunities to win in regulation. It missed its final four shots, including a layup by guard April Traylor, and failed to score in the final 2:30.

"It's a shame somebody had to lose that basketball game," Florida State coach Sue Semrau said. "That was one of the hardest-fought battles that I know I have been a part of. I know both teams went at it with everything they had."

FSU's Whiting scored 19 of her career-high 28 in the second half. Forward Tasheika Morris had 24 points and 11 rebounds.

The crowd of 2,753 was the largest for a Florida State women's basketball game at the Leon-County Civic Center. The record was 2,559 for a 63-49 loss to Clemson on Feb. 22.

The Seminoles face Austin Peay State on Sunday.

NO. 10 PURDUE 64, TULANE 52: Shereka Wright scored 15 of her game-high 21 in the second half for visiting Purdue, which overcame a two-point halftime deficit to win its fourth straight.

NO. 14 DUKE 64, CHARLOTTE 39: Alana Beard had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead visiting Duke. The 49ers trailed 18-14 in the first half and were unable to stop Beard, who was 11-for-17 from the floor, 8-for-10 in the second half. Iciss Tillis added 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, and Sheana Mosch scored 10.

NO. 16 MICHIGAN 65, MARQUETTE 49: Raina Goodlow scored 15 and Stephanie Gandy added 12 for host Michigan. The Wolverines went on a 19-4 run to start the second half.

NO. 21 TEXAS 65, NO. 18 LSU 63: Heather Schreiber had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Kaira White hit the go-ahead layup with 1:26 to play for host Texas. The Longhorns are 4-0 for the first time in six seasons. Scholanda Dorrell led LSU with 21 points. LSU never led but tied it at 60 with Alysha Smith's two free throws with 1:45 to play. Texas went back down the court and White, the shortest player on the floor at 5 feet 7, split two defenders for a layup.

TAMPA 83, GLENVILLE STATE 65: Jessie McDowell led the host Spartans with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Yushanda Morse, Juanita McClinton and Nichole Blair each added 16 points for Tampa.

-- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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