UF upsets No. 2 LSU

Florida's Sara Lowe screams with her teammates after Florida upset LSU, 79-78, in overtime play of basketball Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, in Gainesville, Fla. Lowe shot the tying shot in regular play.

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, February 17, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 17, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
The adrenaline was still pumping through Sarah Lowe's body well after the game, well after the mid-court dogpile, well after the locker room celebration.
"I don't really know if I'll be able to go to sleep tonight," said the senior guard. "It's a memorable thing."
Lowe made two free throws with 3.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Gators a stunning 79-78 win over second-ranked LSU Thursday night. It was LSU's second loss of the season, first in Southeastern Conference play and snapped a 24-game conference winning streak for the Tigers.
Talk about a perfectly-scripted Senior Night for the Gators.
"I couldn't have thought of a better way to go out," said fellow senior Dalila Eshe.
Eshe missed a desperate attempt to get a last-second shot up at the end of regulation, but responded in overtime by scoring Florida's first eight points.
The victory was Florida's first against a team ranked in the nation's top four after 28 straight losses. It was also the biggest win of Carolyn Peck's tenure at UF.
"My head hurts," Peck said. "Was that a great game or what? I'm extremely proud of them."
Florida was coming off a debilitating 18-point loss at home to South Carolina, but never wilted against the Tigers, even after falling behind by 12 midway through the second half.
The Gators climbed back into the game on the strength of eight points by Eshe in the last six minutes of regulation.
Florida is now 19-6 overall and 7-5 in the SEC.
Lowe took an outlet pass from forward Marshae Dotson with seconds left in overtime and drove to the corner where she was fouled by Seimone Augustus. After LSU called a time-out, Lowe made her first free throw to tie the game. After another LSU time-out, Lowe calmly made the second. Erica White's desperation shot at the buzzer wasn't close.
"I told myself to relax," Lowe said. "I had to put myself in a different place. And there wasn't a doubt in my mind.
"It was awesome. If anything, it shows the resilience of this team. This is an amazing win, but it doesn't make our season. We have to keep moving forward."
The Gators led only once before Lowe's free throws - 73-72 when Eshe made a 3-point shot with 2:06 remaining in OT. But it appeared the Tigers would escape with a win when Sylvia Fowles put back a missed free throw with 14 seconds to play for a three-point lead.
Lowe drove for a lay-up to cut the lead to one. With 10.7 seconds to play, LSU's RaShonta LeBlanc missed a pair of free throws (LSU missed 12 in the game) to set up Lowe's final dramatics.
Freshman Sha Brooks led Florida with a career-high 25 points while Eshe had 22. Lowe, who also hit a jumper to tie the game in regulation, finished with a season-high 17 points.
Augustus led LSU (22-2) with a career-high 35 points, but scored only two after making a baby hook with 5:10 to play in regulation.
"I give credit to Florida's defense," said LSU coach Pokey Chatman, "and maybe LSU not being at the top of their game."
Fowles had 23 points and 16 rebounds for LSU as she and Augustus combined for all but 20 of the Tigers' points.
Florida finishes the regular season with a pair of Sunday road games at Auburn and Tennessee befor the conference tournament.
You can reach sports columnist Pat Dooley at dooleyp@gainesvillesun.com

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