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Beal's 21 lifts Fla. to 68-58 win over Marquette

By Eddie Pells

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 22 2012 10:45 p.m. MDT

Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom, left, looks for a shot against Florida's Erik Murphy during the first half of an NCAA men's college basketball tournament West Regional semifinal on Thursday, March 22, 2012, in Phoenix.

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

PHOENIX — Bradley Beal scored 21 points Thursday to lift Florida to a 68-58 victory over Marquette and set up Gators coach Billy Donovan with a meeting against his old boss, Rick Pitino, in the West Regional final.

The seventh-seeded Gators (26-10) expanded a six-point halftime lead to double digits, then held off third-seeded Marquette (27-8) to take their second straight trip to the regional final. Last year, they lost to Butler. This time, they meet Louisville and Pitino.

Beal, a freshman who has NBA written all over him, shot 8 for 10 and had six rebounds and four assists.

Marquette got 15 points from Jae Crowder and 14 from fellow senior Darius Johnson-Odom, but the Golden Eagles exited the tournament in the round of 16 for the second straight year.

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