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Williams gets 300th win at Maryland

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Coach Gary Williams finally pushed his
win total at Maryland from 299 to 300. That wasn't the only number
that will need adjusting after Wednesday night's game.

The Terrapins helped Williams reach his milestone with a 69-68
overtime win over No. 1 Florida, handing the Gators the loss in
their first game after reaching the top spot in The Associated
Press' poll.

Travis Garrison made a jumper with 18 seconds left for the
winning points in a brutish, defensive, ugly game -- but one that
felt pretty good to Williams nonetheless.

"We haven't been consistent, but somehow we found the toughness
to go out there and play tonight," said Williams, who improved to
300-155 in 15 seasons with the Terrapins. He has more than 500 Division I coaching wins overall.

Williams was stuck on 299 after a two-game losing streak that
had Maryland (5-2) down in the "receiving votes" category of the
latest poll. This win showed how unscientific those polls really
are.

Florida, meanwhile, fell to 0-2 in its first game after moving
to No. 1. Last season, the Gators (5-1) made it to the top of the
poll for the first time in program history, but lost 70-55 to
Kentucky in their first game.

This loss all but guaranteed there will be a new top-ranked team
for the fourth straight week on Monday; the Gators joined
Connecticut and Kansas as the latest to fail to hold onto No. 1.

"The yellow jersey gets passed on to someone else," Florida
coach Billy Donovan said.

Over 45 exciting minutes, both these teams showed signs of
greatness, and even bigger signs of the youth that pervades both
rosters.

Bigger, stronger and shooting as well as they had all season,
the Terrapins got big hoops, rebounds and blocks from John
Gilchrist (18 points), Jamar Smith (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Nik
Caner-Medley (22 points, 13 rebounds) to build a 17-point lead
early in the second half.

But they went on an amazing cold streak, failing to score a
field goal over the final 9 minutes of regulation. In fact, their
only two baskets over the final 16 minutes came on breakaway dunks
after steals -- and Florida tied it at 60 to send the game to
overtime.

Williams wasn't surprised.

"I told them: `We're not 17 points better than Florida, so
we've just got to hang in there," Williams said.

In overtime, Anthony Roberson (20 points) hit a 3-pointer and
Matt Walsh took an outlet pass from Roberson to help the Gators
take a 68-64 lead, but the Terps didn't give up.

Caner-Medley hit a shot standing on the 3-point line to cut the
deficit to two. D.J. Strawberry cut the deficit to one with a free
throw. Then, after yet another stop in this defensive matchup, the
Terps worked the ball to Garrison, who spotted up and hit the
game-winner.

"I was really proud of him that he had the guts to take that
shot in that situation, which sometimes guys don't want to do,"
Williams said.

Maryland sealed the win when Smith blocked Adrian Moss' shot
with time running out.

Smith got the rebound, was fouled and missed both free throws
with 1.1 seconds left. But by then, Florida fans, who were being
warned not to storm the floor just moments earlier, were already
shuffling off in shock.

Donovan blamed the loss not on the ending, but the beginning of
the game.

"To me, we're completely dumb if we don't watch the film of
that first half and get better," he said. "We should've been
blown out."

They weren't, though, and that may have made the win that much
sweeter for the Terps. With Duke and North Carolina routinely on
their ACC schedule, they got their ninth victory over a top-ranked
program in school history, leaving them one behind UCLA for the
all-time lead.

Were the Gators really the best team in the country?

It sure didn't look like it early, when Maryland simply
outplayed them in every phase. When Ekene Ibekwe hit a 3-pointer
with 16 minutes left in the second half, the Terrapins led 49-32.

Florida played great defense to get back in it, but blew a
couple chances to take the lead late. Moss and David Lee each
missed two free throws in the final two minutes of regulation with
the Gators trailing by one.

That was just part of the general ugliness of this one.
Suffering with an injured leg, Lee went 1-for-12 from the field and
finished with nine points. Walsh shot 4-for-13. The Gators made
only 31 percent of their shots after shooting better than 50
percent the first five games.

Maryland, meanwhile, helped Williams get No. 300 in the most
unlikely of venues. The Terps were supposed to be too young to
seriously contend this season, although Gilchrist, Garrison and
Caner-Medley -- all sophomores -- might be proving that theory wrong.

"If you can win a game like this, in this hostile environment,
it's great and you have to take it as a learning experience,"
Caner-Medley said.

The game marked Florida's first nonconference home loss in 41
games. It was a turnabout from last year, when the Gators won at
Maryland to snap its 87-game nonconference home winning streak.

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