GAINESVILLE -- The heartbreaking losses continue to pile up for the Florida Gators.
Stefan Moody drilled an off-balance 25-footer with just 2.7 seconds to send Ole Miss to a 62-61 road win over Florida on Tuesday night.
The Rebels trailed by two points with 18.7 seconds before the junior guard buried the deep, contested game-winner to send the Gators (12-12, 5-6 SEC) to their third straight loss -- and fifth stunning defeat by one possession in 2014-15.
Ole Miss is now 2-0 versus Florida this season -- by a combined two points.
“We played good defense,” UF freshman forward Devin Robinson said, frustratingly admitting the team feels snake-bitten.
“He just bombed it and it went in.”
Moody led all scorers with 18 points (4-of-7 from 3-point range), but Robinson nearly spurred the upset with a breakout performance starting in place of injured sharpshooter Michael Frazier II (high-ankle sprain).
Florida’s freshman forward scored a team-high 14 points, stuffing the stat sheet with seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in a losing effort.
“I thought it was his most complete game,” said Florida coach Billy Donovan, who is now 12-12 for the first time since his inaugural season in Gainesville.
“He did some really good things.”
Still, it wasn’t quite enough.
Florida led 61-57 with 2:30 remaining after forward Dorian Finney-Smith hit a corner trey. But the Gators wasted a pair of possessions down the stretch, drawing a shot-clock violation and nearly air-balling another attempt.
“The problem was the two previous ones we got standing waiting for someone else to make a play,” Donovan said.
“Everyone was waiting for someone else to make a play. We have to learn to do it collectively together. … We don’t have a Moody to [step up] and make a play.”
Ole Miss (17-7, 8-3 SEC) trailed 38-33 at halftime, but the Rebels opened the second half on an 11-5 sprint. Florida was able to stabilize itself, retake the lead and slowly grind the game away thanks to some timely offense by Robinson and Finney-Smith (14 points, 7 boards).
But up 54-49 with 7:30 remaining, Donovan sat the pair for some brief rest, and it ultimately cost the Gators. The Rebels quickly went on a 6-0 run to setup a back-and-forth final few minutes and the thrilling finish.
UF plays at Texas A&M on Saturday.
Moody, a FAU transfer, hit the winner in front of family and friends. … Rebels reserve LaDarius White scored 11 first-half points, finishing with 16. … The Gators used their 10th different starting lineup this year. … Without Frazier, the team’s leading scorer at 13.2 ppg, Florida struggled from the field, shooting just 37.7 percent.
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