Final: Florida 90, Mississippi 86 (OT)
Florida senior guard KeVaughn Allen went the first 39:57 of Wednesday’s game 0-5 from three-point range. But when the Gators needed a clutch basket in the waning seconds of the game, Allen was just that, clutch.
Florida appeared to be heading towards their fourth conference loss of the season in a script seen all too often: take second half lead, go ice cold from the floor, and lose the game.
Allen wouldn’t let that happen. Allen sank a game tying trey with 2.5 seconds left that sent the Gators to overtime.
In overtime Allen added four more points to get to his total of 21. More importantly, Allen dove towards the sideline to save a ball and regain possession at a critical time for the Gators.
Freshman Noah Locke led the Gators with 22 points, which include the game-icing free throws with eleven seconds remaining.
Once again the Gators allowed a team to take the lead after controlling the action for much of the game. Had it not been for Allen, many of the same questions would be plaguing this team.
For all the positive that Allen provided, he made a terrible decision in the final minute of overtime as he attempted to pass the ball out of a double-team. Instead of making Ole Miss foul him, Allen elected to pass the ball over the crowd of defenders, but the ball was stolen and put up for an easy layup which closed the gap to one possession. This is simply something that a senior veteran such as Allen can’t make.
What it means:
Florida is now 4-3 in SEC play, only three games back of Tennessee and LSU. The Gators will face Kentucky on Saturday at home before facing Auburn on the road next week.