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OSU Drops Tight One To Gators

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Sunrise, Florida -

Dorian Finney-Smith had 16 points and nine rebounds to help Florida beat Oklahoma State 72-70 Saturday in the Orange Bowl Classic.

The Gators struggled offensively, as they have all season, but made 10 steals and scored 21 points off 14 turnovers by the Cowboys.

Florida (7-3) broke a two-game losing streak. Oklahoma State (7-4) lost for the third time in five games.

Florida State rallied to beat Florida Atlantic in the first game of the one-day event, 64-59.

The Gators won despite shooting 8 for 26 (31 percent) from 3-point range and 12 for 26 (46 percent) from the free-throw line. They went 2 for 6 from the line in the final 41 seconds but the Cowboys failed to take advantage, coming away empty when they missed four shots on one possession when they trailed by four points in the closing seconds.

Finney-Smith was chosen the game's most valuable player.

The game was tied at 51 before the Gators went on a 9-0 run that included 3-pointers by Finney-Smith and Chris Chiozza and a three-point play by Chiozza.

Oklahoma State trailed 64-54 with six minutes left and cut the margin to two. But Finney-Smith sank a 3-pointer, and the Cowboys never had the ball with a chance to tie down the stretch.

Chiozza had 11 points and four steals. Kasey Hill added seven points and eight assists for the Gators, who had only seven turnovers.

Jawun Evans had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Cowboys. Leyton Hammonds and Jeff Newberry added 14 points apiece.

Florida converted three consecutive steals into baskets for a 44-39 lead early in the second half.



Florida: Center John Egbunu was held out of the starting lineup for the first time this season but entered the game after two minutes.

Oklahoma State: Leading scorer Paul Forte missed his eighth game in a row because of an elbow injury.


Florida plays host to Jacksonville on Tuesday.

Oklahoma State has a 10-day break before playing host to Missouri-Kansas City on Dec. 29.

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