Harrick unhappy with call
Published: Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 12, 2003 at 1:41 a.m.
If Anthony Roberson's 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Georgia becomes known as "the shot", the foul that gave Florida the chance to take that shot may soon be known as "the call."
Florida hosts Tennessee at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the O'Connell Center. The game is expected to be the regular-season debut for Florida freshman Christian Drejer, who has missed the first two months of the season with an injured ankle and infection.
Georgia had the ball with 46.5 seconds left in the game and the score was tied at 63. Florida freshman Matt Walsh was jockeying for position in front of Georgia All-American Jarvis Hayes. Walsh appeared to trip, but there was clear contact between Walsh and Hayes where Hayes appeared to push Walsh.
Hayes was called for the foul, and Florida got the ball. Roberson hit the shot and the Gators got the win as well.
"I give the refs credit for making that call," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "Sometimes with a great player you don't get that call."
Georgia coach Jim Harrick did not take the call well. Bulldog assistants had to restrain Harrick from running out on the court.
"In that situation, let the players decide the game," Harrick said. "In that situation it's probably a no-call."
Hayes had just made four 3-pointers to get the Bulldogs back into the game after Florida had taken a 9-point lead.
"That shot I was going to take was going in," Hayes said.
While he was thrilled with the outcome, Donovan said he was sympathetic for how Georgia felt after the call.
"Obviously it's a tough way to end a game," Donovan said. "I'm sure the people at Georgia are upset."
Replays supported the call and showed that there was contact between Hayes and Walsh.
The crowd of 12,422 at the O'Connell Center was the biggest of the season and was Florida's first home sellout.
The last time the Gators sold out a home game was Feb. 9, 2002, against Vanderbilt.
With the Gators playing the rival Bulldogs, this game was one of the most anticipated in recent memory. Tickets were being scalped for as much as $75 before the game. The crowd was the seventh biggest in O'Connell Center history.
For the second straight game, Florida rallied from a halftime deficit to win a game. The Gators trailed by six Tuesday night at No. 7 Mississippi State and were down 35-30 Saturday against Georgia.
The last time Florida came back from halftime deficits in consecutive games was in February 2001 when the Gators rallied to beat Arkansas and LSU.
It was also the first time Florida had beaten ranked teams in back-to-back games since beating Ole Miss and Alabama in Feb. 2001.
Georgia was scheduled to fly into Gainesville Friday night, but wasn't able to arrive until Saturday morning because of a problem with runway lights at the Gainesville Regional Airport.
Visiting teams typically come in the day before a game so they can have a shootaround on the arena floor.
Dylan B. Tomlinson covers UF men's basketball for The Sun. You can reach him by calling 374-5054 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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