Gators need two overtimes to cage Bulldogs

Giving up a lead at the end of regulation only to come from behind to force a second period of extra time, the No. 23/24 Florida Gators (16-4, 5-1 SEC) defeated the Georgia Bulldogs (14-5, 3-3 SEC) 104-91 in a double-overtime thriller to claim sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday evening at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, GA.

Georgia forward Trey Thompkins put-back a missed shot to send the game into overtime, Florida junior point guard Erving Walker hit a dagger three-pointer to force a second overtime, and Gators F Chandler Parsons took over in the final period to complete Florida’s hardest-fought win of the season.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s comprehensive game story…after the break!

UF sophomore guard Kenny Boynton got started early scoring the first seven points of the game for his squad, but runs by both teams left UGA ahead 41-39 at the break. The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Gators 24-14 in the first half and grabbed nine offensive boards that resulted in 17 second-chance points.

A 12-2 run by Florida early in the second half, which included back-to-back treys from Parsons and sophomore F Erik Murphy, put them ahead six. The Gators ended up with an eight-point advantage with less than three minutes left and hoped to keep their opponent in check. That is when things fell apart for Walker.

After turning the ball over at the top of the key up six with 1:32 remaining, Walker missed a poorly shot three on the next possession. He then failed to connect on the front end of a one-and-one with his team up four and 36 seconds left, and missed the back end of another one-and-one with Florida up two and only 21 ticks remaining on the clock.

Thompkins would end up putting back a missed layup by Georgia G Dustin Ware to tie the game at 73 and force overtime.

Walker’s drought continued with back-to-back misses that resulted in a long offensive rebound and fastbreak layup to give the Bulldogs a 79-78 lead with 2:02 left. He then fouled reserve G Sherrard Brantley off the ball and watched as the 56 percent free throw shooter nailed two shots to pull his team ahead with 40 seconds remaining.

After a timeout, Boynton drove the lane only to be stripped without getting a shot up. Walker purposely fouled and sent Bulldogs F Jeremy Price to the line; he swished both shots to give Georgia an 85-82 lead with seven seconds left.

That is when Walker decided it was time to redeem himself. Dashing up the court with the ball, he stopped well behind the three-point line and nailed a dagger triple to tie the game at 85 and force a second overtime.

Florida stepped on the gas from there. The Gators opened up the second overtime with a 9-0 run and connected on 8-of-10 chances from the charity stripe to pull away for the victory. Parsons scored nine of UF’s 17 points in the period, grabbed four rebounds (two offensive) and notched a steal in a clutch performance to wrap-up the game.

Completely overmatched off the glass in the first half, Florida closed the gap throughout the rest of the game and ended up matching Georgia’s stellar rebounding 47-47 (18-17). The Bulldogs turned the ball over seven more times (20-13), but the team’s were equally efficient from the field, downtown and the charity stripe.

Walker and Boynton led the Gators with 24 points apiece. The former also had five assists and four rebounds while hitting 8-of-12 shots from the line with his only misses coming at the start of the game and end of regulation. The latter was a perfect 12-for-12 from the line and is now shooting 77.4 percent from the stripe this season.

Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin got off to a rough start in the first half but found his stride and scored 17 points throughout the remainder of the game to finish with a career-high 23 to go along with nine rebounds. Macklin was 10-of-15 from the field and hit three big free throws down the stretch.

Parsons finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while Murphy added seven points on 3-of-4 shooting with three rebounds in only four minutes of action.

Thompkins stood out for Georgia with a double-double of his own (20 points, 13 rebounds), but G Travis Leslie ended up as his team’s leading scorer with 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.

With the victory, Florida scored more than 100 points for the second time this season, improved to 5-0 in true road contests and took home their second overtime game of the season in three opportunities. Their 104 points scored is the most under head coach Billy Donovan against an SEC opponent and comes just five days after they posted their lowest point total in the Donovan era (45).

The Gators, having won eight of their last nine and 11 of their last 13 games, look to continue their upward trend as they travel to face Mississippi State on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will air live on CBS and CBSSports.com.

Photo Credit: John Bazemore/Associated Press

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12 Responses to “Gators need two overtimes to cage Bulldogs”

  1. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Impressive in the 2nd OT. Looked they decided they wanted it more, and went out and took it. If they exhibit some consistency we just may see that they have grown up a good bit…

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    This was definitely one of the most exciting Gator basketball games I have ever seen! They showed so much heart and resiliency tonight in beating UGA in double OT, just an outstanding performance.
    The team we thought they’d be at the beginning of the year has finally shown up.

  3. ken says:

    almost 2nd loss in SEC play simply because Walker missed front end of 1 and 1 again. I don’t understand why they are such a bad free throw shooting team this year. half the starters wer 20% higher in FT % last year..

  4. Daniel M. says:

    Gators need two overtimes to cage Bulldogs Hehe! After caging them they sprayed them with a water hose.

    Walker channeled his inner Chandler Parsons in yet another electrifying Gator hoop moment. When he drained that that three from Micanopy, I got in trouble with my family for yelling so loud. In the second OT the sea of empty red seats gave UM a run for their empty seat money.

    Great win last night boys.

  5. David says:

    Adam, have you heard the rumor of Drayton to OSU?

  6. John S says:

    Great game, I gave up on them at the end of regulation, but they hung in there. Parsons looked like he found his place again. UGA played well and we were still able to win. Excellent game, winning on the road is a big deal. Great job Gators.

  7. Mr2Bits says:

    Great resilience to pull out this win however I was a little disturbed we couldn’t hold a 6 point lead with a minute left. We just unraveled at the end of regulation.

  8. JW says:

    Great win over a really talented team on the road!! Can someone explain for me why Georgia didn’t foul Walker the moment he got the ball in the backcourt. I’m referring to the first overtime when Walker was able to dribble all the way up the court and hit a three to tie the game. Simple decision in my mind. Foul him as soon as he gets it. Maybe the players were instructed to do so but failed to carry it out.

    • g8ter27 says:

      I think that is one time when the rowdy fans were too loud for their own good and the team could not hear their coach screaming to soul Walker. On the otherhand, they had a timeout left and he could have taken it and told them so bad move on his part. That was the forst time this year that the team really showwed they can play tough ass ball when they need to. Mr2bits, I agree that them blowing it at the end of regulation was ridiculous, that game goes down as a loss and it could have started a downward spiral for the remainder of the season…glad they pulled it out.

      • SC Gator says:

        That’s sort of the key thing though isn’t it? I mean, so-so teams blow leads like that, get discouraged, and lose and keep loosing. This team got lucky that it only went to OT, yes, but they kept fighting and scratching to overcome a Georgia team and crowed that was totally pumped up by the comeback to make it 2nd OT and then put the peddle down to seal the win in a big way. That’s the kind of mental conditioning that you would hope a good team has.

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