Florida vs. Georgia score, takeaways: Gators basketball rides high with complete rivalry win

By Adam Silverstein
January 23, 2021
Florida vs. Georgia score, takeaways: Gators basketball  rides high with complete rivalry win
Basketball

Image Credit: GatorsMBK / Twitter

After a difficult start to the new year, Florida Gators basketball completed its best week of the season Saturday with a thorough 92-84 domination of the Georgia Bulldogs on the road. The Gators never led by fewer than eight points (the game’s final total) after taking a double-digit lead in the second half and used a total team effort to go 2-0 on the week with a pair of victories over their long-time rivals.

Florida (8-4, 5-3 SEC) has found its scoring touch with 166 points over the last two contests; this after posting 72 points or fewer in four straight games. The question is whether that offensive improvement will keep up over the remainder of the season. UF’s season-high 92 points Saturday was its most at UGA since 1994.

What went down on Saturday afternoon in Athens, Georgia? Take a look at our Fastbreak takeaways from the latest showdown between the Gators and Bulldogs.

It was over when … Florida answered a 7-0 Georgia run in the second half with an extended 12-4 scoring stretch to lead by a game-high 17 points with 6 minutes to play. The Gators opened the period by outscoring the Dawgs 16-3, making 7 of 10 shots during that span. UF never led by fewer than eight points over the final 17:23, cruising to a rivalry victory.

First half focus: Florida made 7 of 8 baskets as part of a 15-3 scoring arc and followed with a short 12-4 run aided by two threes from junior guard Noah Locke to go up six late in the opening period. Georgia went without a basket for 6:42 down the stretch of the half but were able to tighten things up in the final minutes before UF took a three-point lead into the break.

Exceptional efforts: Sophomore point guard Tre Mann had a breakout game, scoring 24 points on 7 of 16 shooting with six rebounds and four assists, though he did cough up five turnovers. Locke was not overly efficient but made key baskets from long range, hitting 4 of 10 triples for a season-high 16 points. In his return from an ankle injury, junior forward Colin Castleton was dominant in the post, scoring 14 points on 7 of 9 shooting with three boards. Junior PG Tyree Appleby did a lot of heavy lifting in the first half before Mann caught fire, scoring 14 points while making 5 of 11 buckets.

Odds and ends: Florida improved to 117-103 all-time against Georgia, 42-52 away from home and 8-3 under head coach Mike White … 102 of 176 points were scored in the paint … the Gators held a 41-27 rebounding edge, 16-10 on the offensive glass … Florida had 10 steals and five blocks but just 14 assists on 37 made baskets … the Gators are now 19-1 under White when scoring 90+ points and 53-3 when scoring 80+ points, including 5-0 this season … Saturday marked the first time this season that Florida won despite its defense allowing 80+ points (1-2)

What we learned: Florida bounced back from an awful week with a tremendous one. Not only did it rout No. 8 Tennessee at home a few days ago, it capped off a strong stretch with a thorough road defeat of Georgia. The Gators did it with consistent offense, team basketball and a strong defensive efforts, combining for 31 turnovers in those two games. The schedule is only to get more difficult and tiresome down the stretch, so their ability to bounce back from such horrendous play one week earlier is a good sign of what this team may be able to accomplish once sophomore guard Scottie Lewis, who is still sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, is cleared to play.

What’s next? The Gators get a rare extra day this week. Florida will next host Vanderbilt on Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. ET tipoff on SEC Network. It is the lone conference game of the week for UF, which will face West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge next Saturday.

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