Gators win SEC East by pounding Bulldogs 71-62

Senior forward Chandler Parsons may not have been in the starting lineup for the No. 13 Florida Gators (22-5, 11-2 SEC) on Thursday, but he saw starter minutes and scored 16 points off the bench to lead his team to a 71-62 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs (18-9, 7-6 SEC) at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

With the win, Florida clinched the Southeastern Conference East division title for the first time since 2007 and earned a bye in the 2011 SEC Tournament next month.

Gators sophomore guard Kenny Boynton scored a team-high 18 points, dished a team-best four assists and hit 5-of-6 attempts from the charity stripe to spark a big second-half comeback win for Florida. Junior point guard Erving Walker added 15 points, and senior F Alex Tyus scored 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting to support redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin, who struggled getting access to the basket.

Walker scored the first eight points from the field for UF as the rest of his team started 0-for-11 from the floor. The Gators were up 10-8 with 14:59 left in the first half but quickly dropped their advantage and trailed the remainder of the half.

The Bulldogs used a 13-2 run to go up 21-12 and eventually took a game-high 11-point lead at 31-20 with 3:24 remaining before the break. Florida reduced Georgia’s lead to seven before heading into the locker rooms on a layup from Tyus.

UF opened the second half with a dunk from Parsons on their second possession and an offensive rebound and layup from him on their third. The Gators completed a 13-4 run through the half (9-2 in the second) to tie the game at 35 for the first time in 17 minutes.

A three-point play by Macklin (his first and only basket of the game, scored with 13:13 left) tied it again at 42, but a three by Parsons completed an 8-0 run for Florida to put them ahead 47-42. Three minutes later, Boynton took over, scoring 12-straight points for the Gators including a trio of three-pointers as part of a 12-2 run that gave Florida a 10-point lead, 63-53, with 5:09 to go.

An immediate 6-0 run by UGA cut UF’s lead to four, but the Gators hit six free throws down the stretch to ensure the 14th victory in their last 16 games.

Despite struggling at times, G Travis Leslie led the Bulldogs with 20 points. Georgia F Trey Thompkins added 16 points and had a team-high seven rebounds.

Though he had trouble getting going offensively, Macklin notched a team-high eight boards for the Gators and was 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Parsons contributed seven rebounds and three assists and was one of a trio of Florida players with three offensive boards (Tyus, Macklin).

With four points each at halftime, Boynton and Parsons scored 14 and 12, respectively, in the second half. Freshman F Casey Prather, who started for Parsons, was held scoreless and only played seven minutes due to Parsons staying in for 30.

Shooting a paltry 37 percent in the first half (10-for-27), the Gators shot 53.6 percent (15-for-28) the rest of the way. Florida also shot 35 percent (7-of-20) from downtown and 70 percent (14-for-20) from the line. The opposite was true of the Bulldogs, which shot 60 percent in the first half but only 42.3 percent after the break and 20 percent from three (3-of-15) for the game.

In addition to clinching the SEC East, UF’s win Thursday was their ninth-straight at home against UGA. The Gators have now won 14 of their last 16 games and defeated six consecutive conference opponents for the first time since 2007. Florida is also 19-1 when holding an opponent under 70 points this season.

UF will play their second of three games in a seven-day span when they travel to Kentucky on Saturday. The game will air live on CBS at 4 p.m.

Notes: Former Florida football players wide receiver Louis Murphy, tight end Cornelius Ingram and cornerback Dorian Munroe took in the game. Also in attendance were head football coach Will Muschamp and former basketball C (and recent cancer survivor) Dwayne Schintzius.

Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

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No. 13 Florida vs. Georgia Gameday Preview

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN2 / ESPN2HD / ESPN3D
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Sirius/XM: 121/141
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 13 FLORIDA GATORS GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record: 21-5 (10-2) Record: 18-8 (7-5)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series against Georgia 104-96. The Gators have won 13 out of the last 15 games in the series against the Bulldogs and are 21-7 overall against them under Donovan including 11-2 in Gainesville.
» UF has won eight-straight games against UGA in the O’Dome.
» With a victory, the Gators will clinch the SEC East division and earn an automatic first-round bye in the 2011 SEC Tournament.
» Florida has won 16 of its last 19 games (and 13 of their last 15) with 11 victories against RPI top 100 teams.
» The Gators are 18-1 (7-0 in SEC play) when holding an opponent under 70 points this season after limiting LSU to 61 on Sunday.
» Florida junior point guard Erving Walker, with 192 three-pointers, is tied for sixth all-time at Florida with Matt Walsh. He is six treys away from moving into the top five.
» Defeating Tennessee two Saturdays ago, UF reached 20+ wins for the 13th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the SEC. They have also reached 10 wins in league play for the ninth time in the last 13 years and first time since 2007 (13-3).
» A win Thursday would give Florida six-straight victories against SEC opponents for the first time since 2007 (11).
» The Gators hold advantages over the Bulldogs in a pair of major national statistical categories. Florida scores more points per game 70.8-69.9 (121st-149th) and shoots a better percentage .457-.454 (77th-94th), but Georgia dishes more assists per game 15.6-13.7 (28th-125th). The teams are equals off the glass, each grabbing an average of 38.3 rebounds per game. The Gators rank 12th in RPI (.6353) and 10th in strength of schedule nationally compared to the Bulldogs being 38th (.5923) and 31st, respectively.

LAST TIME OUT…

Florida and Georgia will square off for the second time this season; the Gators defeated the Bulldogs in a 104-91 double-overtime thriller in Athens, GA on Jan. 25. In the contest, Walker hit a dagger three-pointer to force a second overtime and Parsons took over in the final period to give the Gators a hard-fought victory.

PARSONS LIMITED FOR GATORS ON THURSDAY

Florida senior forward Chandler Parsons, who is averaging double-digit points (10.8) while leading the Gators with 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game, will be limited on Thursday after suffering a deep thigh bruise two Saturdays ago against Tennessee. He received treatment on the injury for 11 consecutive days and missed Sunday’s game at LSU but will be active and able to contribute Thursday even though he will not start. Freshman F Casey Prather will take his place in the starting lineup.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Walker…who is leading his team in scoring with 14.8 points per game and leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (.426) and three-point percentage (.390). Walker also leads Florida in turnovers (66) and became the 47th player in school history to score 1,000 points earlier this season.
» Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin…who is shooting a team-best 57.3 percent from the floor this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 11.5 points and 5.9 rebounds a game while being a major presence for UF.
» Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton…who is arguably the Gators’ most talented player but is struggling with consistency shooting the ball. Boynton is only hitting 36.4 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second in scoring with 13.1 points per game and makes a team-high 83.1 percent of his free throws.
» Senior F Alex Tyus…who is averaging career-lows in points, rebounds and field goal percentage as a starter. Tyus became just the fifth player under Donovan to reach 500 career field goals, accomplishing the feat two weeks ago against Vanderbilt.
» Prather…who will likely earn his second start for the orange and blue on Thursday. The freshman only plays an average of 7.3 minutes per game but is shooting at a 45.7 percent clip on 35 shot attempts this season.
» Freshmen PG Scottie Wilbekin and C Patric Young…who are Florida’s primary reserves each averaging approximately 17 minutes per game. Wilbekin, in relief of Walker, leads UF in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.25:1), while Young averages 3.4 points and 3.4 boards off the bench.
» Georgia F Trey Thompkins…who is the standout performer on his team. Thompkins averages team-highs in points per game (16.0), rebounds (7.7) and blocks (1.8).
» Bulldogs F Travis Leslie…who compliments Thompkins nicely and is second on his team with 14.0 points and 7.1 boards per game.

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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!
Continue Reading » Gators need two overtimes to cage Bulldogs

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No. 23 Florida Gators at Ga. Bulldogs Gameday

Location: Stegeman Coliseum – Athens, GA [Capacity: 10,523]
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET)

TV: ESPN/ESPNHD
Online Video: ESPN3.com
Sirius/XM:
Online Audio: Yahoo!
Live Updates: @OnlyGators

No. 23/24 FLORIDA GATORS GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record: 15-4 (4-1) Record: 14-4 (3-2)
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Georgia -2.5; O/U 135

HISTORY and STREAKS

» Florida leads the all-time series against Georgia 103-96. The Gators have won 12 out of the last 14 games in the series against the Bulldogs and are 20-7 overall against them under Donovan including 8-5 in Athens. However, Florida has lost its last two contests at Georgia by a combined four points.
» UF has won 10 of its last 12 games with six victories against RPI top 100 teams.
» The Gators are 6-1 in SEC play over the last two seasons with three or fewer days between games (2-0 this season).
» Florida is 4-0 in true road games and currently holds a 6-1 record away from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center this season.
» The Gators are 11-1 when holding an opponent under 60 points this season. They have held back-to-back opponents (Auburn-40, Arkansas-43) under 45 points, the lowest two-game total in SEC play ever under Donovan (previous low 90). UF’s defense has held consecutive SEC opponents under 45 points for the first time since 1947 and for the first time in the shot clock era.
» Florida has out-rebounded 15 of 19 opponents (two of five in SEC competition) this season and are doing so by a +7.1 rebounds per game advantage.
» The Bulldogs best the Gators in three of four major statistical categories nationally. Georgia holds advantages in points per game 121st-155th (71.3-70.1), assists 34th-76th (15.6-14.6) and field goal percentage 56th-71st (.466-.461), while Florida is more efficient off the glass leading in rebounds 55th-71st (38.2-37.4). The Gators rank 16th in RPI (.6343) and 10th in strength of schedule nationally compared to the Bulldogs being 41st (.5967) and 79th, respectively.

KEEP AN EYE ON…

» Junior point guard Erving Walker…who is leading his team in scoring with 13.7 points per game and leading the backcourt in both field goal percentage (43.9%) and three-point percentage (41.8%). He has single-handedly accounted for 41 of Florida’s 109 treys this season. Walker became the 47th player in school history to score 1,000 points, accomplishing the feat earlier this year.
» Senior forward Chandler Parsons…who is back to averaging double-digit points (10.0) while leading the Gators with 6.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. Parsons notched a career-high 15 boards on Saturday against Arkansas.
» Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin…who is shooting a team-high 57.3 percent as a starter this season with most of his buckets coming inside the paint. He averages 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds a game while being a major presence for Florida.
» Sophomore guard Kenny Boynton…who is arguably UF’s most talented player but had been marred in a slump this year until recently breaking out of it. Boynton is only shooting 36.7 percent from the field and 30.6 percent from beyond the arc; however, he is second on the team in scoring with 12.8 points per game and hits a team-high 77.4 percent of his free throws.
» Freshmen PG Scottie Wilbekin and C Patric Young…who are the Gators primary reserves averaging 17.8 and 16.2 minutes per game, respectively. Wilbekin, in relief of Walker, leads Florida in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2:1), while Young is the team’s most efficient scorer at 59.1 percent.
» Georgia F Trey Thompkins…who is the main reason his is the best-shooting team in the SEC. Thompkins averages 17.4 points per game, leads his team in blocks (1.6 per game) and pulls down 7.1 rebounds each contest.
» Bulldogs F Travis Leslie…who leads his squad in rebounding with 7.3 boards per game and is second on the team in scoring averaging 14.7 points.

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