Friday , Mar , 19 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Later Gators: Manhattan upsets Florida

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) – Luis Flores scored a game-high 26 points to
lead Manhattan to a 75-60 victory over Florida in a first round NCAA
Tournament game in the East Rutherford regional bracket.

Peter Mulligan contributed 17 points for the 12th-seeded Jaspers (25-5), who
move on to play Wake Forest in the second round on Saturday. Dave Holmes
added 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the win.

Anthony Roberson scored 22 points for the fifth-seeded Gators (20-11). Matt
Walsh chipped in with 13 points, but finished just 4-of-12 from the field
including 0-of-5 from three-point range.

The Manhattan victory marked the 15th year in the last 16 that a No. 12 seed
has beaten a fifth seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I told the guys that we’re in a 5-12 matchup, we’re playing an epic team like
Florida, this is going to be considered a major upset,” said Manhattan head
coach Bobby Gonzalez. “But I told them if you come in worried about the name
on the other jersey, you really don’t have a chance.”

Manhattan led by seven at the break and were clinging to a 38-35 advantage
early the second half. Flores then scored eight straight points to ignite a
12-1 run. He hit a three-pointer to give the Jaspers a 41-35 lead and, after a
jumper stretched the lead to eight, Flores hit another shot from beyond the
arc for a 46-35 advantage.

Mulligan scored the final four points of the run to give Manhattan a 50-36
cushion with 14 minutes remaining in the contest.

Holmes grabbed an offensive rebound and completed a three-point play to
give the Jaspers a 57-42 lead with 7:53 remaining. Holmes was left alone
underneath and scored again with just over three minutes to go for a 67-50

Florida was able to get within 13 at 63-50 with a 6-0 run, but only 4 1/2
minutes remained and the Jaspers cruised to a 15-point victory.

“The way our frontcourt played, the thing that keeps showing up is, their guys
competed better than we did,” said Florida head coach Billy Donovan.

The lead changed hands four times and the game was tied twice in a closely
contested first half. The Jaspers used a 12-4 run to gain some breathing room
late in the half. Flores hit a jumper to spark the spurt, added a three-
pointer, and capped the run with a free throw to give Manhattan a 34-25 lead
with under four minutes to play before halftime.

Mulligan scored 12 points and Flores had 10, as Manhattan held on to lead
36-29 at the break.