Florida fights back, falls to Georgia 78-76 on road

Down 15 at halftime, a win looked nearly impossible for the Florida Gators on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, GA. After a few major runs, Florida found themselves down only two with the ball in their hands and 13.3 seconds remaining on the clock. A botched final play devastated Gator Nation as the Gators (20-9, 9-5 SEC) fell 78-76 to the hometown Bulldogs (13-14, 5-9 SEC).

Florida started hot from beyond the arc, going 5-for-7 to start the game. However, they were unable to hit anything from inside the three-point line, with the team’s first field goal in nine attempts coming on a layup by junior forward Chandler Parsons at the 12:19 mark in the first half. Georgia exploded on a 14-0 run to go up 29-17 before the Gators responded with an 8-0 run of their own to bring the deficit down to four. It took a half-ending 14-2 run by the Bulldogs to put them up a game-high 45-30 going into the locker rooms.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Florida at Georgia game story after the break!

In the first half, Florida head coach Billy Donovan received his first technical foul of the season. His team shot only 33 percent from the field compared to Georgia’s 64.3 percent. The Bulldogs outscored the Gators 24-8 in the paint and received 14 bench points compared to none for their opponent.

Both teams fought back-and-forth in the second half after UF began with a 5-0 run to cut UGA’s lead to 10. Midway through the period, Parsons took off on his own 8-0 run to bring Georgia’s lead down to seven (67-60). As the game winded down, Florida powered its way to a 17-4 run, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead to 71-69 with 5:46 to go.

Freshman guard Kenny Boynton was clutch in the final few minutes of the game, scoring the Gators’ final 10 points of the contest and cutting their deficit to two (78-76) with 1:42 left on the clock. Florida would get the ball back with 13.3 seconds remaining, but a botched final play allowed Georgia to hang on for the victory.

Senior forward Dan Werner received the ball on the right side of the basket after a screen and, with about a second left, attempted a pass (that was blocked out of bounds) instead of putting up a shot.

Parsons led the Gators with a career-high 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting; he also had team-highs with six rebounds and six assists. Boynton added 22 points, going 8-for-13 from the floor and 6-for-9 from downtown. Junior F Alex Tyus had one of the worst games of his career; he was dominated in the paint and was held scoreless on four shot attempts. Werner finished 2-of-8 from the field, freshman point guard Erving Walker only shot 2-for-9 for seven points and redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin added 10 points and six rebounds.

Bulldogs’ star F Trey Tompkins led his team with 20 points and seven rebounds. Three other Georgia players finished in double figures. As a team, the Bulldogs dominated the Gators in the paint, out-blocking them 5-0 and out-rebounding them 28-25.

Florida returns home hoping to improve their NCAA Tournament chances by facing the No. 16/20 Vanderbilt Commodores on Tues., March 2 at 7 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN. The Gators finish their regular season on the road against the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats at 12 p.m. on Sun., March 7.

Photo Credit: David Manning/Associated Press

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13 Responses to “Florida fights back, falls to Georgia 78-76 on road”

  1. Mitch says:

    good effort in coming back, but werner on the court has really become a bad joke

  2. John Shanks says:

    Granted some calls went both ways, but the officiating was horrible. The technical on Billy and the block and 1 on Macklin were the worst. Glad we fought back though, a 15 point loss to UGA would look terrible on paper.

  3. The officiating was bad, but that did not cost Florida the game in any way, shape or form. I am sure you agree with that.

  4. ReptilesRule says:

    Can’t play like crap in the first half, get down by 15 and expect to win an SEC game on the road. Tennessee’s win today did help, unfortunate that we couldn’t help our own cause. Some people think that UF is already in but I wouldn’t count on it if this team ends up on a losing streak. Better find a win somehow in the next 2 games or win a couple in the SEC Tourney. It’s amazing to me how this team sometimes can’t seem to hit shots from point blank or 2 feet away…

  5. ReptilesRule says:

    BTW, please ditch the black uniforms. Do they ever win in those things??

  6. Mitch says:

    Adam

    we have quickly gone from NCAA darling to goat. Its almost like the selection committee tries to make a point that we are not a bball school despite back to backs by giving us very little wiggle room in getting in the tourney. I am sure traditionsl powers with our resume would get in easy. By fading so bad from the top we have made it easier for them. I think we need to beat vandy and 1 tourney win to get in.

    • Two things. The last two years, there have been much better teams than the Gators in both the SEC East and SEC West. This year, the West is very weak. That is good for UF. As long as either UK, UT or Vandy wins the SEC tourney, I think Florida is fine.

      As far as the other traditional powers, most of them play in much tougher conferences and, IMO, deserve that little extra slack because of quality of opponent. Don’t forget that Syracuse got the short end of the stick a few years ago.

      I just think everyone should calm down and let it play out. The Gators are good enough to be in the tourney this year. Especially with the overall average NCAA season as a whole.

  7. Daniel M. says:

    Watched most of the game but missed Parsons one handed alley-oop. Straight filthy.

    Check it out on Volin’s blog.
    http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/gatorbytes/2010/02/28/gator-hoops-tough-78-76-road-loss-to-georgia-sets-up-crucial-game-vs-vanderbilt-plus-video-of-chandler-parsons-alley-oop/

  8. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    It was good to see us come back but the only reason this was even a game was Boyton hitting six 3′s which is probably more than he’s made in the last 5-6 games combined….that being said we let a golden opportunity slip away and a chance to completely get off the bubble…I agree we beat Vandy and we are in….lose Vandy and UK and we will need to win one or two in the tourney to be safe.

  9. Wingtee says:

    Parson has exploded the last half of the season. He may test the waters. Might be as good as M. Miller. Parsons will play in the NBA, just hope not next year

  10. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Let’s hope he stays one more year but at this point he looks like a lock for the 1st round if he left…I am guessing middle first round…has anyone seen a projection?

  11. Wingtee says:

    Looking forward to senior night Tuesday

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