Big second half carries Gators past GeorgiaJan 24, 2013 - 7:21 AM
Kenny Boynton added 14 points and Erik Murphy contributed 13 for the Gators (15-2, 5-0 SEC), who have won seven straight games and 17 of the last 20 in the series versus Georgia.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 points and pulled down seven boards for the Bulldogs (7-11, 1-4), who have lost four of their last five. Charles Mann added nine points and shot 2-of-2 from behind the arc.
"It was almost a tale of two halves," Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "As well as we started the first half, we didn't start the second half well at all. We just couldn't stabilize our defense in the second half. We just couldn't find a way to get stops in the second half, and they shot the ball very well. You have to give them credit for that. They've got a really good team and I was disappointed in our second half performance tonight, but it was up against a very good team and we have to give credit to them."
Florida never held a lead in the first half and went into the break down 27-24, but outscored Georgia by a 40-20 margin in the second half to remain unbeaten in SEC play and sweep the season series.
Florida's struggles were evident early on, as the Gators trailed by as many as nine, 11-2, just four minutes in.
The Gators fought back with a 12-4 run highlighted by 10 Wilbekin points, however, to trail by just one with 11-plus minutes left in the first half.
Georgia kept up its intensity, however, and made four 3-pointers -- including two by Mann over the final 10 1/2 minutes of the half to go up by a 27-24 score at the break. The Bulldogs limited Florida to a mere 1-of-9 success rate from 3-point range in the opening period, in which the Gators shot just 40.7 percent.
The Bulldogs' success didn't register over to the second half, however, as the Gators opened up the stanza on a 21-4 run - started by back-to-back treys from Wilbekin and Mike Rosario treys - to build a 45-31 lead at the midway stage. Caldwell-Pope made 1-of-2 free throws to end the surge, but the damage was already too much for the home team to overcome.
Florida and its third-ranked scoring defense, which was limiting opponents to 51.7 points per game coming in, held Georgia to 31.6 percent shooting in the second half. The Bulldogs also made just one 3-pointer on their only attempt after intermission, after shooting 6-of-11 from downtown in the first half.
The Bulldogs are 0-5 against Top 25 teams this season ... UF came into the game having won each of its first four league games by at least 21 points ... The Gators last started 5-0 in conference play during its 2006-07 national championship title run ... Florida posted a 77-44 lopsided victory over the Bulldogs in Gainesville on Jan. 9 in the SEC opener for both squads ... Georgia's Brandon Morris chipped in eight points in the loss ... Georgia committed 17 turnovers, compared to UF's seven.
- FLORIDA: 64
Jan 23 10:05 PM
- FLORIDA: 24
Jan 23 8:51 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Jan 23 8:06 PM
- Georgia's Juwan Parker granted medical redshirt May 23
- Virginia Tech guard Jalen Hudson transfers to Florida May 16
- Florida guard Francis-Ramirez transferring after 2 seasons May 4
- Florida's Devin Robinson out 4-6 months after foot surgery Apr 21
- Georgia signs forward Diatta as transfer from Southern Idaho Apr 20
- McGarity believes Georgia program still growing with Fox Mar 30
- Florida guard Walker plans to transfer after graduation Mar 28
- Florida's Egbunu to have season-ending thumb surgery Mar 15
- Florida's Egbunu uncertain to play against UNF in NIT Mar 14
- Florida C Egbunu tears thumb ligament before SEC Tournament Mar 9
- Florida trying to rebuild NCAA resume at SEC Tournament Mar 7
- J.J. Frazier keeps believing, keeps shooting for Georgia Mar 4