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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

12/25: Parsons turns it on, Walker’s redemption

Just three days after putting together their most complete game of the season, the Florida Gators (16-4, 5-1 SEC) showed the tenacity and gumption it takes to win a nail-biter against a talented opponent by defeating the Georgia Bulldogs (14-5, 3-3 SEC) 104-91 in a double-overtime thriller on the road. Head coach Billy Donovan, who saw his team score only 45 points two games ago at Auburn (the lowest point total during his career at Florida), also watched on as the Gators scored 104 points one week later (the most during his UF career against a Southeastern Conference opponent).

WELCOME TO THE CHANDLER PARSONS SHOW

For a player who barely made an appearance in the stat sheet after the first half, Parsons really turned things around the rest of the game and came up clutch in overtime. He grabbed 11 of his 12 rebounds after halftime, scored 18 points (including nine of his team’s 17 in the second overtime) and ended up notching his third double-double of the season (10th of his career).

“I was really proud of his effort on the boards for us,” Donovan said after the game. Parsons chocked up his team’s ability to come through when it counted to their conditioning. “That’s [strength and conditioning coach] Matt Herring getting us up at 6 a.m., doing suicides,” he said. “It didn’t come easy. There were some plays on both sides. That was a big-time win for us, another overtime win that we needed.”

For Parsons, it all comes down to what awaits his team. “We’re still in first place, but we don’t want to let up,” he said. “We’re going to get some rest and try to build on this going into Mississippi State.”

WALKER GIVES IT AWAY, TAKES IT BACK

Junior point guard Erving Walker’s entire career in the orange and blue, it seems, is a mix of “Why did he do that?” and “How the heck did he do that?” moments. His performance Tuesday night was a perfect example.

With 1:32 remaining and his team up six points, Walker turned the ball over at the top of the key, allowing Georgia to score an easy basket. He missed a poorly shot three-pointer on the next possession and followed that up by failing to connect on the front end of a one-and-one with Florida up four and 36 seconds remaining. Walker got another chance to make it right as he found himself back at the line for a one-and-one with the Gators up one and 21 ticks left on the clock; he made the first, missed the second, and the Bulldogs wound up scoring with a game-tying layup to send the contest into overtime.

Walker remained out of it, mentally, in the first overtime. He missed back-to-back shots and committed a costly off-the-ball foul that resulted in two made free throws. That is when he decided to redeem himself by absolutely draining a trey from well beyond the arc to tie the game at 85 and force a second overtime.

“I knew I had put my team at risk with the missed free throws,” he said after the game. “I wanted to make up for it and give our team another life.” Speaking about his big triple, Walker added, “I was looking for [Trey Thompkins] and saw he was back. I didn’t want him to block it. When the clock said two seconds left, I let it go.”

Having always remained confident in Walker, Donovan believed Florida’s attitude in the second half was fueled by his heroics at the end of the first overtime. “I think Erv’s shot probably energized us a little bit,” he said. He also admits that, going into the first overtime, the Gators were “kind of teetering a bit” after giving up an eight-point lead with less than three minutes to go.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 12/25: Parsons turns it on, Walker’s redemption

Tags: , , , ,

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gameday: Florida Gators at Georgia Bulldogs

Location: Stegeman Coliseum – Athens, GA [Capacity: 10,523]
Time: 4:00 p.m. (EST)

TV: SEC Network
Online Video: ESPN360.com
Live Updates: OGGOA on Twitter

Florida Gators Georgia Bulldogs
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Mark Fox
Record: 20-8, 9-4 SEC Record: 12-14, 4-9 SEC
Division: SEC East Division: SEC East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -1, O/U 138.5

KEEP AN EYE ON…
» The dynamic backcourt of…sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton who are averaging a combined 29.5 points and 7.2 assists per game in conference play this season.
» Speaking of Walker and Boynton…they have hit 56 of the Gators’ 72 treys in SEC play. After struggling the previous two games, the duo combined to shoot 9-for-19 from the field and 4-for-9 from downtown on Tuesday.
» Junior forward Alex Tyus…who is taking control of the front court, has reached double figures in 15 of 19 games and scored 15+ in eight of those.
» Junior F Chandler Parsons…who has scored in double figures in six straight games also has two double-doubles in those matches. He has been helping dish the ball and run the point while averaging 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds and shooting 55.6 percent.
» Double-digit scoring by Vernon Macklin…the Gators are 13-2 when the redshirt junior transfer center finishes in double figures. He had a career-high 22 points in a win against Ole Miss last Saturday.
» Bulldogs F Trey Thompkins…who leads his team in both scoring (17.8 points per game) and rebounding (8.1 boards per game). He is second in the SEC in scoring.

STREAKS:
» Florida leads the all-time series against Georgia 103-95, winning 12 of the last 13 meetings. The Gators are 20-6 overall against the Bulldogs under Billy Donovan.
» Florida has won nine of its last 11 conference games. Should the Gators win Saturday, it will be their sixth true road win of the season (most since 2005-06). Defeating the Rebels last weekend, they swept the SEC West (6-0) for the first time since 2003 and acquired their most road wins since 2006-07.
» UF is 6-3 in games decided by five points or less compared to 4-6 in such games last season; they are also 5-1 in the last six contests that were that close.
»Florida has shot at least 24 free throws in three-straight games. The Gators are 6-1 when getting to the line at least that many times.
» The Gators have out-rebounded seven of their last ten conference opponents and is 13-2 overall when out-rebounding an opponent in 2010.
» After shooting just 47.8 percent from the charity stripe (22-of-46) over its previous two games, Florida has gone 73-for-91 (80.2 percent) from the line in three contests since.
» Six of the Gators’ eight losses on the season have come from teams with RPIs currently inside the top 28 (five from teams ranked 19 or higher).
» A win last Tuesday gave UF its 12th consecutive 20-win season, good for the longest active streak in the SEC and fifth-longest in the nation.
» Five of Georgia’s nine SEC losses have come by four points or less.
» The Bulldogs have taken impressive wins over then-No. 17 Illinois, Georgia Tech and then-No. 8 Tennessee this season.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Gators basketball chomps Bulldogs 87-71

Attempting to come away with their fourth consecutive victory, the Florida Gators (15-5, 4-2 SEC) kept their momentum going with a 87-71 thrashing of the Georgia Bulldogs (9-9, 1-4 SEC) Wednesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. Four Gators finished in double figures including junior forward Alex Tyus, who put up a career-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting.

Sophomore point guard Erving Walker (4-of-6 from downtown) and freshman guard Kenny Boynton (8-for-16 from the field) each scored 21 points, though Walker added 10 assists to his performance. Walker gave Florida its second lead of the game on a three-pointer with 8:57 left in the first half, and the Gators would not relinquish the advantage for the remainder of the contest. Redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin was good for 12 points of his own, shooting 50 percent on the evening.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Gators vs. Bulldogs game story after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gators basketball chomps Bulldogs 87-71

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: …on the Gators vs. Bulldogs game

1 » Florida Gators (14-5, 3-2 SEC) vs. Georgia Bulldogs (9-8, 1-3 SEC) Pre-Game:
- Lines: Florida -8.5; O/U 134
- Florida leads the all-time series 102-95, winning 11 of the last 12 meetings.
- Last season, the Gators and Bulldogs split the series; UF won 83-57 at home while UGA took an 88-86 decision in Athens, GA.
- Florida is 10-2 at home and 19-6 overall against Georgia under Billy Donovan, winning seven straight and 10 of the last 11 in Gainesville.
- Allowing 95 and 89 points to its first to SEC opponents, the Gators have held teams to 60.0 points per game during a three-game winning streak. Florida is 10-1 this season when holding opponents to 60 points or less and 120-2 all-time under Donovan.
-Sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton are averaging 38.2 points (almost half of the team’s 73.0 total points) and 7.8 assists per game in SEC play this season.
- Walker and Boynton have hit 32 of the Gators’ 38 treys in SEC play, and Walker is shooting 61.3 percent (19-of-31) from downtown in conference action.
- Junior forward Alex Tyus is dominating the front court, averaging 14.1 points and 7.9 rebounds over the last ten contests. He has hit double figures in 10 straight games and scored 15+ in five of those ten.
- Florida has not surrendered a fast break point in its last two games.
- Georgia is coming off its most impressive win of the season, taking down then-No. 8 Tennessee on Saturday; they have also defeated Illinois and then-No. 17 Georgia Tech.
- Sophomore F Trey Thompkins leads the Bulldogs in both scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg). Georgia is averaging 5.1 blocked shots per game and is out-rebounding opponents by +4.5 boards per contest.

2 » Though the Gators recently held off the South Carolina Gamecocks with another miraculous shot from junior F Chandler Parsons, the team must put that moment out of its collective mind and focus on the opponent ahead. The Bulldogs present a tough test and Donovan has repeatedly told his team not to take them lightly. “We’re not going to underestimate Georgia,” Parsons said. “They are a great team. Everyone saw what they just did to Tennessee.” Sounds like the message has stuck.

Tags: , , , , , , ,