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Updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 10:57 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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Maryland 69, (1) Florida 68 (ot)

GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- Travis Garrison's only basket rescued Maryland.

Garrison's jumper with 18 seconds left in overtime lifted the Terrapins to a wild 69-68 upset of top-ranked Florida.

Maryland (5-2) opened a 17-point lead in the second half before going without a basket for nearly the final nine minutes of regulation. Florida (5-1) closed regulation on a 20-5 tear to force the extra session.

The Gators took a 68-64 lead on Matt Walsh's dunk with 1:57 remaining before Nik Caner-Medley's long jumper and freshman D.J. Strawberry's foul shot cut the deficit to one. Walsh had his shot blocked with 26 seconds to go and each team committed a turnover before Maryland got another chance.

Garrison took the inbounds and nailed his jumper to give the Terrapins the lead. The Gators looked confused on their final possession, and Adrian Moss' shot from in close was blocked with two seconds to go.

Jamar Smith missed a pair from the line for Maryland, but Walsh was unable to get off a final shot as time expired.

"To come back and win this game feels great," Caner-Medley said. "If you can win a game like this, in this hostile environment, it's great and you have to take it as a learning experience."

The loss ended Florida's 40-game non-conference home winning streak, one season after the Gators snapped the Terrapins' 87-game home non-conference run.

"I thought we left it on the floor in the second half," Gators coach Billy Donovan said. "They did an unbelievable job just getting the game into overtime."

It also marked the third straight week that a top-ranked team lost. Kansas fell to Stanford last week and Connecticut lost to Georgia Tech two weeks ago.

The Terrapins avoided a third straight setback after their third overtime in the last four games. They overcame horrific 24 percent (7-of-24) shooting in the second half and the loss of point guard John Gilchrist, who scored 18 points, to fouls in the final minute of regulation.

"For us to win tonight, that's a great win, considering we lost two over the weekend," said Maryland coach Gary Williams, who recorded his 300th victory at the school. "For our players to have that fortitude with John Gilchrist on the bench throughout the overtime period, I was impressed."

Caner-Medley collected 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds and scored six points in overtime to keep Maryland in the game. His basket with 3:15 left snapped a stretch of more than 12 minutes without a hoop.

"I said to myself, 'Gut-check,' and I had to start playing with heart," Caner-Medley said. "This team is about playing with a lot of heart."

Maryland dominated throughout, building its biggest lead at 46-29 on Smith's bucket 1:42 into the second half. Gilchrist's dunk at the nine-minute mark made it 55-40.

Florida, which shot a dismal 36 percent (9-of-25) from the floor, finally found its range near the end of regulation and used a zone defense to stifle Maryland. Anthony Roberson's two free throws forged a 57-57 tie with 2:26 left in the second half.

The Gators were 3-of-8 from the foul line over the final two minutes of regulation with David Lee and Moss each missing a pair.

"We had chances down the stretch to win it in regulation," Donovan said. "Some missed free throws hurt us down the stretch."

Roberson led Florida with 20 points. Walsh had three shots blocked in the first five minutes and Lee was 1-of-12 from the floor for nine points.


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