Louisville Punches First Ticket To Final Four; Downs Florida 72-68

PHOENIX (AP) — Bradley Beal and Erik Murphy scored 14 points each, but Florida squandered an 11-point lead in the second half to lose 72-68 in the West Regional on Saturday and keep coach Billy Donovan winless against his mentor.

Donovan hadn’t beaten Louisville coach Rick Pitino in six previous tries, but appeared to be headed toward a breakthrough win after the Gators hit eight 3-pointers and shot 72 percent in the first half against one of the nation’s best defenses.

Florida (26-11) missed all nine of its 3-point shots in the second half, but still managed to lead 58-47 with just under 11 minutes left.  The Gators couldn’t hold off the charging Cardinals (30-9), though, allowing them to go on a 10-0 run and to hit all the big shots late.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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