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No. 11 Penn Falls To Florida

Teddy Dupay, Florida's freshman point guard, likes the way the Gators lull other teams to sleep.

"I think you'd be amazed we many times we go in at halftime behind or ahead by one or two points and end up winning by 20," Dupay said. "That's just our style of play."

Dupay's fast-break layup completed Florida's comeback from an 11-point halftime deficit and his 3-pointer helped the Gators start to pull away for a 75-61 victory over Penn in the NCAA West Regional Thursday night.

Florida (21-8) trailed 43-32 at halftime as Penn (21-6) rode the 3-point shooting of Jed Ryan and Matt Langel. It took Florida nine minutes to get even, with Dupay's layup with 10:56 to play giving the Gators a 49-48 lead. Dupay's 3-pointer with 9:57 to go made it 52-48.

Dupay added two free throws with 8:48 to play and Greg Stolt contributed a 3-pointer as Florida blew out to a 57-51 lead with 8:08 remaining.

Penn shot 6-for-22 from the field, including 3-for-15 from 3-point range, in the second half.

"In the first half, we just gave them wide-open looks," Dupay said. "In the second half, we just stepped up on them, which is what we should have done in the first half."

The Quakers didn't collapse as badly as when they blew a 27-point lead at home against Princeton for their only Ivy League defeat this season, but they'll have a hard time forgetting this second half, too.

"I think it's very difficult," Penn coach Fran Dunphy said. "We didn't play well in the second half. But I don't know how well we played in the first half. We just happened to shoot the ball like crazy."

After scoring 22 points in the first half, Ryan was blanked in the second half, going 0-for-5 from the floor, missing three 3-pointers.

At halftime, Ryan and Langel had combined to make 10-of-11 3-point shots.

Coach Billy Donovan's Gators, the No. 6 seed in the West, was led by Brent Wright and Mike Miller, another freshman, with 15 points each. Dupay, coming off the bench after Eddie Shannon got his fourth foul early in the second half, had 11 of his 14 points in the second half. Kenyan Weeks kept Florida in the game in the opening half with 11 points.

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  • Wright, a 6-8 sophomore forward, had 12 rebounds and Florida had a 36-28 edge on the boards.

    Donovan said he didn't have much of an answer to Penn's 3-point shooting in the opening half.

    "That's certainly the first time anybody's done something like that to us," he said.

    Ryan's 22 points led Penn and Langel added 16. Michael Jordan, Penn's standout point guard, failed to live up to his name by shooting 5-for-16. He finished with 15 points.

    "Coach told us at halftime to punch it inside," Jordan said. "But some of the guys, including myself, got out of character and didn't listen to him."

    Ryan made 6-of-7 3-point shots in the opening half and Langel made all four of the 3-pointers he attempted.

    In the second half, Florida crept closer as Penn's shooting grew cold. The Quakers led 48-38 after a free throw by Owens with 4:04 gone in the second half, before Florida went on a 13-0 run.

    Shannon said Florida's shaky first half was caused by a case of nerves.

    "We were a little uptight, afraid to make mistakes," he said. "We were not loose. Once we got comfortable, our style won the game."

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