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Saturday January 8, 2000Gator men's hoops rallies to beat Ole Miss 75-71

Oxford, MS

Sixth-ranked Florida rebounded from a loss to Vanderbilt with a 75-71 win at Mississippi. Udonis Haslem scored 21 points as the Gators won their first game over the Rebels in the Billy Donovan era while evening their conference record at 1-1.

Florida was trailing 35-32 at the half before going on a 15-11 run to take its first lead of the afternoon at 47- 46. The Gators held off the Rebels without Haslem and Brent Wright, who fouled out late in the second half. Major Parker (pictured left), who didn't play at all in the first half, picked up the slack, hitting a three- pointer to give the Gators a 63-54 lead and then nailing another trey with about two minutes to go to give the Gators a 74-69 advantage.

He drew praise from Gator coach Billy Donovan. "I know he's not shot the ball well from the three-point line, but certainly the two three's he made were big", said Donovan. "For him to keep his attitude and come in to play the way he did - I was really proud of his maturity to be able to handle that." Parker entered the game shooting just 11-percent from beyond the arc.

Despite Parker's heroics, Ole Miss still had a chance to tie the game up in the final seconds, but a three-point attempt that would have tied the score at 74 misfired. Mike Miller closed out the scoring with a free throw. Miller scored nine points as did Wright and Kenyan Weaks.

Florida improved to 12-2 while Ole Miss fell to 12-3. The Gators will next take the court on Wednesday night when they play their SEC home opener against LSU at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00.

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