Parsons’ buzzer-beater drops N.C. State in OT

Down two with 2.6 seconds left on the clock in overtime and N.C. State Wolfpack guard Farnold Degand on the line ready to shoot his second free throw, the Florida Gators‘ hopes of winning a big out-of-conference game on the road looked dashed. Instead, Degand missed his shot, Florida junior forward Chandler Parsons grabbed the rebound, took two dribbles and threw up a 75-foot buzzer-beating, game-winning three-pointer to give the Gators (11-3) a much-needed 62-61 overtime victory in Raleigh, NC, at the RBC Center.

“It feels like a fantasy,” Parsons said while trying to gain perspective shortly after the game. “I’m waiting for someone to pinch me to wake me up. I’d by lying to you if I said I thought it was going to go in. It was pure luck. But I’m happy I was able to help my team and I was happy we were able to get out of here with the win. North Carolina State is a good team and they are going to have a great season. To be able to pull this out in front of their fans, with that crowd, it’s huge for us.”

One of Florida’s most consistent players this season, Parsons’ remarkable trey was his first made field goal of the game. The entire Gators squad struggled from beyond the arc yet again, shooting a combined 2-of-23 from three before Parsons’ final attempt. UF missed its first 13 three-point attempts and even rimmed out another that would have won the game in regulation.

Florida was within three numerous times at the end of overtime, but N.C. State (10-4) head coach Sidney Lowe directed his team to foul sophomore point guard Erving Walker before he could hoist up a three, limiting his ability to tie the game or take the lead. The Wolfpack missed four free throws in the final 38 seconds of overtime, allowing the Gators to stay in the game even with their poor shooting down the stretch.

Redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin led Florida with 14 points while Walker posted 13 of his own. Junior forward Alex Tyus added 11 points in the contest, his fifth-straight game with double-figure points. Tyus also led the Gators with seven rebounds, while Parsons and freshman guard Kenny Boynton each contributed six boards. For N.C. State, star F Tracy Smith scored 21 points and G Javier Gonzalez added 13 of his own, eight of which were in overtime.

Florida hopes to continue their lucky streak when they open Southeastern Conference play on Saturday, Jan. 9 at noon in Nashville, TN, against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The game will air live on ESPN.

Women’s basketball (8-6) also took home a road win Sunday, toppling the Alabama Crimson Tide 59-53 in both teams’ conference opener. Senior G Lonnika Thompson and sophomore C Azania Stewart led the Gators with 12 points each.

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Gameday: Florida Gators vs. N.C. State Wolfpack

Location: RBC Center – Raleigh, NC [Capacity: 19,722]
Time: 3:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: FSN/SUN
Online: GatorVision
XM: 199

Florida Gators N.C. State Wolfpack
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Sidney Lowe
Record: 10-3 Record: 10-3
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Coast
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: EVEN, O/U “OFF”

KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Players scoring in double-figures…four Gators starters and one bench player are all averaging double-digit points. Freshman guard Kenny Boynton averages 14.2 ppg while junior forwards Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons, redshrit junior center Vernon Macklin and sophomore point guard Erving Walker all average 11.9-10.3 ppg.
- Tyus…who is averaging 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds over the last four games.
- Assists…Boynton and Walker have 109 assists to just 49 turnovers this season.
- N.C. State forward Tracy Smith…who leads his team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 17.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
- Three-point line…in Florida’s 10 wins, the Gators are holding teams to 24.5 percent shooting and 4.2 makes from behind the arc; in their three losses, the opposition is shooting 39.5 percent from three (5.7 makes per game).

STREAKS:
- Florida trails the all-time series against N.C. State 6-3; however, the Gators have won the last two meetings including a 68-66 victory last year in Gainesville, FL.
- Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 16-9 against the ACC, 3-0 in last three.
- The Gators are 5-0 this season when nabbing double-digit steals.
- Florida is 29-5 in the month of January since 2005 and has not dropped its first game of the New Year since 2005. The Gators went 7-2 in January 2009.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. N.C. State Wolfpack preview after the jump!
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