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Florida moves on with win over Marquette

Mar 23, 2012 - 5:51 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Bradley Beal erupted for 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor as seventh-seeded Florida knocked out third-seeded Marquette, 68-58, in an NCAA Tournament West Region semifinal.

Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker netted 11 points apiece while Erik Murphy grabbed 10 rebounds to go with seven points for the Gators (26-10), who advanced to the Elite Eight for the second consecutive season.

Florida fell to Butler in 2011's regional finals.

The win sets up a bout with Louisville for a spot in the Final Four and perhaps bragging rights -- Gators coach Billy Donovan played under Cardinals coach Rick Pitino when Pitino was at Providence.

"Outside of my parents, he's been the most influential person in my life," said Donovan. "But I do think the game is really about the players that are playing in the game that are going to be competing on Saturday...And the competition part of it will never, ever get in the way with me for our relationship, ever."

Jae Crowder paced the Golden Eagles (27-8) with 15 points and Darius Johnson- Odom donated 14 in defeat.

After Johnson-Odom finished a layup to open the second quarter, Florida reeled off a 12-2 rally to take its largest lead of the game at 14, but Marquette stayed close and made it interesting down the stretch.

Down 58-45 with 4:15 to play, Crowder knocked down a pair of free-throws before grabbing a rebound off Boynton's missed three-pointer.

Todd Mayo then drove for a layup and, after stealing it from Walker, drained a trey from the top of the key that cut the Eagles' deficit to 58-52.

But Patric Young grabbed an offensive rebound for UF off Boynton's miss and Walker drained a triple to increase the Gators' lead to nine once more. Florida shook off Crowder's three-pointer a bit later, making enough free- throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

"I thought they were outstanding," said Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. "I thought they beat us straight up from start to finish."

The Gators outshot the Eagles 43.3 percent to 31.4 percent in the first half en route to a 36-30 lead at intermission.

Game Notes

There were six ties and seven lead changes, all in the first half...Young finished with nine rebounds...Florida held a 32-26 advantage in the paint.