Gators basketball chomps Bulldogs 87-71

By Adam Silverstein
January 27, 2010

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!

The Bulldogs started a perfect 4-for-4 from the field as the Gators began the game with six straight misses. Falling behind early, Florida ended up utilizing three 7-0 runs as well as an 8-0 run to pull further away from Georgia throughout the game. Tyus was responsible for one of the runs on his own, scoring seven-straight points on a dunk, and-one layup and alley-oop to give Florida a 65-49 lead.

Senior F Dan Werner played well in the first half, hitting an early jump shot and following it up with a charge to get the crowd going. Also hustling Wednesday was junior F Chandler Parsons, who nabbed an offensive rebound, threw in a layup, ran down court for a steal and chucked it back to Boynton for an assist all in a span of less than 20 seconds in the first half. Parsons and Macklin each finished with three offensive boards.

The Gators ended the initial period on an 11-5 run, scoring 19 points off of 12 first-half Bulldog turnovers. Georgia F Trey Thompkins scored 13 of his team-high 24 points on 6-of-7 shooting before halftime. He would finish the night 10-of-12 with six rebounds. Teammate Ricky McPhee made five of his eight attempts from behind the arc for 21 points, second-most on his team.

The Bulldogs would cut their deficit to seven on a 6-0 run with 5:40 remaining on the clock – the closest the score had been since 1:05 in the first half. However, a free throw by Walker followed by a three-point dunk by Macklin and a trey from Boynton put Florida back up 16 in no time. Two more charity buckets by Walker would give the Gators a game-high 19 point lead with 1:21 remaining.

Shooting a respectable 53.3 percent from the field, Florida’s defense relented and allowed Georgia to hit 59.6 percent of their baskets. The difference came in overall defense, where the Gators won battles on turnovers (19-10), steals (12-6) and points off turnovers (33-17). Though the Bulldogs were expected to dominate in the paint, UF wound up besting UGA in rebounds (27-23), second-chance points (17-2) and points in the paint (40-32).

Florida will travel to Knoxville, TN, for a tough road test against the No. 14 Tennessee Volunteers (15-4, 3-2 SEC) on Sunday, Jan. 31. The game will air live on CBS at 1 p.m. OGGOA will have a complete game day preview up over the weekend.

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