GAINESVILLE, Fla. | Devan Downey made no expression. He had exhausted himself, done everything he could throughout the game and into the final seconds.
And yet it wasn't enough.
Downey's performance Saturday, the sight of a 5-foot-9 guard carrying his team, will belong to the memories of those that witnessed it.
But, this time, the improbable game-winning shot belonged to Florida.
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After hitting what appeared to be a game-winning banker with 5.1 seconds to go, Downey and his USC teammates were stunned on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Chandler Parsons that lifted Florida to a 58-56 victory Saturday.
A game that saw a number of twists and four lead swings in the final 22 seconds, ended with a frenzied Gator crowd and a disconsolate Gamecock group.
"Just a tough one," Downey said.
It was a turnabout from last season when USC, playing at home, pulled off an improbable, last-second victory against the Gators. In that game, it was Parsons who missed the free throw that resulted in Mike Holmes rebound and pass downcourt to Zam Fredrick for the game-winning layup.
This year Fredrick and Holmes, and Dominique Archie is out with an injury. All that is left, basically, is Downey.
Downey's 36 points were a season-high. The Gamecocks' 56 were a season-low.
But neither he nor his coach were criticizing the support.
"Everybody did their part. That's why I was able to have the game I had," said Downey, who now has 158 points in five SEC games. "I'm just proud of my teammates, how they fought, and we just came up on the losing end this time."
Added USC coach Darrin Horn: "I think what's more important is how our whole team contributed. Yeah his points numbers were unbelievable, (and) we didn't have anybody else in double figures, but we had a lot of guys who did a lot of little things."
Florida (14-5, 3-2 SEC) had a couple six-point leads, but USC (11-8, 2-3) and Downey kept coming back. There were 17 lead changes in the game and 11 ties.
But it all was a prelude to the final sequence.
Tied at 52 entering the final minute, Florida missed a 3, and Downey hit a baseline jumper with 22 seconds left.
But 11 seconds later, a foul was called against USC's Ramon Galloway as Florida's Kenny Boynton attempted a 3. The Gator freshman guard sunk all three free throws to give his team the lead.
Florida coach Billy Donovan called timeout, his last, to set his defense. Horn quickly huddled with his assistants to draw up the final play, one he thought up on the spot.
As the huddle broke, USC freshman Lakeem Jackson walked away, smiled and said "Dang" to no one in particular.
Sam Muldrow took the inbounds and passed to a crossing Downey, who dribbled downcourt. With three men on him, Downey split the defenders and bounced in a bank shot.
According to Donovan, two of his players (Erving Walker and Boynton) thought Downey double-dribbled on the drive. But Parsons said he also thought he fouled Downey.
Downey scored USC's final nine points.
"We had two guys on him the whole time, so basically his 36 were on two guys," Donovan said. "I've been in the league 19 years, and the closest I've seen to that was when Chris Jackson scored 44 against us when I was an assistant at Kentucky, at Rupp Arena."
Neither team had a timeout after Downey's shot. So the final 5.1 seconds was on the fly.
The ball was quickly inbounded to Walker, who dribbled to the key, then passed out to Parsons.
After his shot went in, he ran the length of the court, teammates following him, and did a stomach-first slide near the USC bench.
"They came out and made a play," Downey said. "I was trying to recover, because I had hit the ground, so I didn't really see much."
"This was one of those nights where you hate to lose the way we did, on a last-second shot," Horn said. "But our kids fought their guts out."