Bulldogs Overwhelmed By Gators, 83-57
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The Georgia men’s basketball team was able to remain within striking distance during the first half, but the Florida Gators proved to be too much in the second half and defeated the visiting Bulldogs 83-57 Wednesday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Florida (18-3, 5-1 SEC) was led by guard Nick Calathes, who led the Gators with a triple-double. Calathes finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists - all of which were game-highs. It is the first time a Georgia opponent finished with a triple-double since Fresno State’s Dominic McGuire did so on March 14, 2007.
“(Calathes) didn’t have many easy looks; it wasn’t like we didn’t guard him well or tough,” head coach Dennis Felton said. “He’s just extremely talented. He’s a handful, especially when he’s shooting the ball well and from as deep as he can shoot it.”
Florida pushed the lead to 19-11 halfway through the first half, but Georgia (9-11, 0-5) would close the gap to one at 22-21 with six minutes to go in the half. Florida, however, would put together a 20-9 run late in the first half to push the score to 42-30 at intermission. Trey Thompkins led Georgia with 10 points, but the Bulldogs committed nine first half turnovers which led to 10 Gator points.
“That was the main thing we talked about at half,” Felton said of the turnovers. “We started the second half with a few turnovers and the building got going. It gets easier to score at that point. We got overwhelmed.”
The second half began with Florida continuing its run from the first half, thanks in part to a few Georgia turnovers. Florida opened the second half on a 12-4 run to push the lead to 54-34.
The Gators continued to extend that lead as Georgia struggled from the floor. In the first half, Georgia shot 46 percent from the field, but shot just 30 percent (7-of-23) through the first 16 minutes of the second half. Georgia shot 43 percent from the field on the game, but was 28 percent from 3-point range.
The Florida offense showed its depth offensively as four players scored in double-figures. Calathes’ 20 points led the way, while Alex Tyus finished with 18, Chandler Parsons added 12 and Dan Werner finished with 11. Collectively, the Gators shot 49 percent from the floor and turned 17 Georgia turnovers into 20 points.
Thompkins was held scoreless in the second half, but his 10 points tied for the team-high with Corey Butler. Dustin Ware played a game-high 37 minutes and handed out five assists.
“He was a good bright spot for us tonight,” Felton said. “He played through a lot traffic and double teams, and to do that for 37 minutes with only two turnovers was good. I felt like he was solid defensively.”
Up next Georgia travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday for a 7 p.m. ET contest with the Alabama Crimson Tide. It will be televised by Fox Sports South.