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Updated: Friday, December 6, 2002 11:24 PM EST
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(9) Florida 58, Florida St 57
Florida Gators
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TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Ticker) -- Tim Pickett's questionable decision was the wrong one for Florida State.

Pickett missed a long 3-pointer with two seconds left and No. 9 Florida held on for its fifth straight victory over the Seminoles, 58-57.

Florida guard Justin Hamilton missed a 1-and-1 opportunity with 10 seconds left and the rebound eventually came to Pickett. The 6-4 guard waited a couple of seconds before racing upcourt, where he pulled up and launched a shot from 22 feet away with three seconds to go, rather than driving to the basket.

Pickett's shot bounced off the back rim high into the air as the final two seconds expired, sending Florida (5-2) into a frenzy. The Gators entered off a disappointing loss at West Virginia on Tuesday.

"Coming out of New York beating Kansas (in the Preseason NIT), we had an emotional letdown against West Virginia," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "I wanted to see how we responded in this situation, with the rivalry."

A 3-pointer by Pickett pulled Florida State (3-1) within 56-55 with 2:36 to play, and the Seminoles had several chances to go ahead. Andrew Wilson's shot with just under two minutes to go was blocked by the Gators' David Lee, and Pickett airballed a jumper with 50 seconds left.

The Seminoles suffered their first loss under new coach Leonard Hamilton. Florida State's last win over Florida was an 83-81 victory on December 14, 1997.

The Gators received a huge spark from freshman Anthony Roberson, who came off the bench for 16 points. Roberson made just 5-of-14 shots, but drilled four 3-pointers.

"Anthony Roberson has not played the last couple of games with the intensity and fire he played with tonight," Donovan said. "He was the difference."

Roberson nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give Florida a 38-31 lead with 14:38 left. A one-handed tip slam by Justin Hamilton extended the advantage to 41-33 just 65 seconds later.

Florida State used a 12-6 run to get back in it and Wilson's basket cut the deficit to 49-47 with 6:41 remaining. Matt Bonner and Roberson answered with baskets for Florida.

Bonner led Florida with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Bonner often was the lone Gator contributing on the interior as the Gators were outscored in the paint, 28-14.

"We've got to find some low-post scoring," Donovan admitted. "We've got to get to the free-throw line somehow."

Florida shot just 28 percent (8-of-29) in the first half and was 33 percent (8-of-24) from beyond the arc for the game. Justin Hamilton, Lee and Brett Nelson were a combined 5-of-20 from the floor.

Pickett led Florida State with 23 points and made 5-of-15 attempts from beyond the arc. Wilson added 11 points and six rebounds.

The Seminoles' 12 assists were evidence of their lack of teamwork. Florida State was a woeful 25 percent (6-of-24) from the arc and had 14 turnovers.

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