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College basketball roundup: Miami upset

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Northeastern 78, Miami 77

Quincy Ford made a jumper as time expired leading the Northeastern Huskies to a 78-77 upset win over the No. 15 Miami Hurricanes on Friday. The loss was the first by Miami after four season-opening wins, including two over ranked teams. Miami was favored by 16 points.

Northeastern jumped out to a quick 17-8 lead and pushed the lead to 11 at the midway point of the first half. Miami closed the gap to 35-30 at halftime.

The Hurricanes finally tied the game at 55 with 8:45 remaining on a Sheldon McClellan layup. They took their first lead one minute later on a three-pointer by Angel Rodriguez.

Miami led 70-63 with 4:23 remaining, but the Huskies went on a 13-2 run to take a 76-72 lead. McClellan’s jumper gave the Hurricanes their final lead at 77-76 with 18 seconds remaining, setting up Ford’s last-second heroics.

Ford led all scorers with 24 points while teammate David Walker had 21. Miami put four players in double figures led by Davon Reed with 19. McClellan had 18, Ja’Quan Newton added 13 and Rodriguez chipped in with 12.

Miami heads to Nebraska on Tuesday to face the Cornhuskers as part of the ACC vs. Big 10 Challenge.

#1 Kentucky 84, South Florida 63

Top-ranked Kentucky did the expected and rolled over the South Florida Bulls, 84-63 on a neutral court in Miami on Friday. The Wildcats led by as many as 31 as they rolled to their sixth victory of the season and their 37th consecutive regular season win.

The Bulls hung around for a while. With 6:14 remaining in the first half, Jahmal McMurray drilled a 3-pointer bring South Florida with 27-21. USF would not score again and the Wildcats scored the final 15 points to take a 42-21 lead at half time.

When Dominique Hawkins hit a three-pointer with 11:50 remaining, Kentucky had a 69-38 lead. USF got no closer than the final 21-point margin.

McMurray led the Bulls with 13 points off the bench. Chris Perry and Jeleel Cousins each added 12.

Kentucky was led by Jamal Murray with 21 while Skal Labissiere had 17 and Charles had 11. The Wildcats shot 50 percent on 31 of 62 shooting. USF shot 46 percent on 26 for 56.

The loss dropped the Bulls to 1-5 for the season. Next up is Savannah State on Sunday at the Sun Dome. Tip-Off is 2 p.m.

Florida 70, Florida Gulf Coast 50

The Florida Gators roared back from a first half deficit to defeat the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, 70-50 on Friday at the O’Connell Center. The Eagles led at halftime, 33-32, but a 38-17 second half Gator blitz gave Florida a convincing win.

Florida opened the second half on a 10-0 run to take a 42-33 lead. The Gators steadily increased the lead in the second half with a jumper by Kevarrius Hayes providing the final points and giving the Gators their largest lead.

Dorian Finney-Smith again led Florida in scoring with 23 points. John Egbunu added 17 along with 11 rebounds. No Florida Gulf Coast player scored in double figures.

The Eagles shot only 34.5 percent from the field, making 20 of 58 shots. Florida only shot 37 percent on 26 of 71 shooting.

The Gators moved to 5-1 on the season. They face the Richmond Spiders on Tuesday night at the O’Connell Center. Tip-Off is 7 p.m.

Other Scores

Indiana/Purdue Fort Wayne 71, Jacksonville 63.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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