The No. 7 Florida Gators (14-2, 3-0 SEC) set a program record by extending their home winning streak to 25 games while blowing out the Georgia Bulldogs (8-7, 2-1 SEC) on Tuesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.
“It’s a good milestone. Any time you can do something for the first time in school history, it’s always nice,” said head coach Billy Donovan. “But like I said on Monday, we’re 0-0 playing [any individual] game here at home; you just got to go out and play.”
Florida triumphed 72-50 while pulling off its eighth-straight victory and 13th in the last 14 contests, which OnlyGators.com breaks down with seven quick-hitters:
It was over when: Despite failing to hit a field goal over a span of 9:41 in the second half, the Gators still led the Bulldogs by 17. That basket-less streak ended courtesy of consecutive three-pointers by sophomore guard Michael Frazier II, who pushed Florida’s lead up to 23 points. The Gators completed a 16-3 run – including a third Frazier triple – to take a 27-point lead just minutes later. He finished with a game- and career-high 21 points on 5-of-12 shooting from deep with four rebounds and two assists.
Prominent player: Though he did not have much of an impact in the second half, due to being rested while simultaneously in foul trouble, senior forward Will Yeguete was the best player on the court for Florida during the dominant first half that gave it a 20-point halftime lead over Georgia. Yeguete scored 10 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting (his sole a three) and finished with 12 points (two shy of his career-high) and six rebounds for his best game of the 2013-14 season.
“He needs a day here and there, so I gave him off on Sunday from practice because I thought he looked really exhausted even in the game against Arkansas,” Donovan explained. “He didn’t have any bounce, any legs, and I think he was probably a little bit tired. So we gave him Sunday, and I’d say yesterday he probably took half the reps. And I think that probably helped him physically some kind of get rejuvenated.”
Significant stretch: Trailing 6-4 early, UF erupted on an explosive 26-4 run that lasted 10:20, included nine UGA turnovers and four Florida three-pointers – all from different players. The Gators held the Bulldogs scoreless for 6:32 during that stretch as they came away with 16 points off 12 total first-half turnovers.
Check out the second half of The Fastbreak after the, well, break.
Perfect plays: With 2:31 remaining in the first half, redshirt junior walk-on F Jacob Kurtz took a pass on the baseline from redshirt sophomore F Dorian Finney-Smith, drove under the basket and completed a reverse layup. Kurtz got fouled on the make but missed his free throw attempt. Finney-Smith hit 3-of-5 triples for 14 points with five boards and three dimes on the evening.
Late in the second half, Florida started bombing shots from long range. The Gators took and drained four consecutive three-pointers over a span of 1:46, jumping ahead a game-high 31 points with 3:02 to play.
Standout stat: UF has been sharing the ball and playing team basketball all season, but the assists simply have not been there for Florida. That was not the case on Tuesday when the Gators registered 18 assists on 25 made baskets. At 72.0 percent, that’s the highest rate on the season for UF.
What it means: Florida routed a hot team that won consecutive league games, but Georgia is not a squad that is expected to be a contender this season. The Gators defended their home court, set a new record and pulled off a victory over a long-time rival.
Next up: Hitting the road for the second time in as many weeks, Florida will face Auburn on Saturday at 4 p.m. UF will play three of its next four games away from home.
#Gators F Chris Walker gets on the court! The net got stuck, so he helped straighten it out.
— OnlyGators.com (@onlygators) January 15, 2014