If you had told me before tonight’s game that Florida’s Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton would be held without a field goal until less than 5 minutes remained in the first half, I would have speculated that the Dawgs were giving the Gators all that they could handle.
Apparently Florida is a pretty deep team though, and despite the slow start for Billy Donovan’s backcourt in this one his Gator team was able to find scoring from other sources.
After falling behind 7-0 right off the bat, the Dawgs were able to crawl back into the game and only trailed Florida 13-9 following a heady off-the-backboard-self-pass-basket by Nemanja Djurisic. Djurisic’s first-half offensive production, which included 10 total points, was critical to keeping the Bulldogs from being blown out before the intermission.
Florida reserve guard Mike Rosario scored 7 unanswered points to open up an 18-9 Gator lead with 9:44 left in the half. Then freshman sensation Bradley Beal went nuts from beyond the arc, knocking down 3 (of his 4) threes prior to the break which opened up a 33-13 Gator lead.
Thankfully Nemi was able to sink 2 open three-point attempts that enabled the Dawgs to head to the locker room trailing 35-21.
Florida was on cruise control for most of the second half though, increasing their lead to 47-26 with 16:53 remaining in the game, following an Erving Walker three-pointer.
Georgia did make one last push at the Gators late in the game, and they were able to trim the margin to 56-43 after Dustin Ware knocked down his second shot of the half from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs 10-4 run, however, was probably aided more by Florida’s lack of interest at that point than by Georgia’s own play.
Whatever the case, the Dawgs’ success was short-lived and the Gators closed out the game with a 14-5 run, securing a 70-48 victory along with their first conference win of the season.
The game never really felt that close and aside from Nemi Djurisic, who finished with 14 points and 6 rebounds, most of the Georgia players looked overwhelmed and out-matched in Gainesville on Tuesday night.
Kenny Boynton and Bradley Beal led the Gators with 17 points apiece, and sophomore big Patrick Young snagged 10 rebounds to go along with 8 points.
Georgia shot their typical 37% from the floor against Florida, and they were an abysmal 1 for 9 from the free throw line. The Gators, on the other hand, hit 50% of their field goal attempts and made a stellar 15 of 18 free throws.
The result from Tuesday night’s game should not have come as a shock to many UGA basketball fans. Along with being 0-2 in SEC play, Georgia has now dropped 10-straight contests at Florida, dating back to 2002.
As ESPN announcer Jimmy Dkyes mentioned 42 times on Tuesday night, the Dawgs are too thin inside and should be hurt by the lack of an inside game (thanks for the keen insight). Despite the obviousness of Dykes’ comments, he is absolutely right and tonight’s game was just another example of how limited Coach Mark Fox’s team looks when playing against stronger opponents.
At Vanderbilt on Saturday.